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Rewards may encourage garbage sorting

China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-29 08:08
Children in Xiangyang Kindergarten play a game teaching them how to sort trash, Changzhi county, Shanxi province, May 25, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

AN INTELLIGENT HOUSEHOLD refuse collecting and sorting machine was launched in a residential community in Shanghai on Monday. ThePaper.cn comments:

Residents receive cash from the machine for the plastic products, cartons, paper, clothes and glass bottles they throw into it. The price is 0.8 yuan ($0.12) for per kilogram of plastics or paper. This is a meaningful way to stimulate people's enthusiasm for garbage sorting.

The government has tried to introduce waste sorting for years. But the rumbling of thunder has not produced rain. It is a social consensus that this is a move beneficial to all parties. But few people take the initiative to actually sort their garbage, especially after seeing that the refuse trucks mix all the household refuse together while loading it.

Statistics show that more than 60 percent of Chinese cities produce more waste than they can dispose of. As a result they are actually besieged by their own garbage.

Sorting and recycling waste, as is done in some developed countries, represents a way out for these cities.

Apart from such machines, which can only serve as an incentive, the government, social organizations and the media must work together to raise the public's awareness of the importance and urgency of garbage sorting.

The people should be informed that their waste is just misplaced resources that contain tremendous material and environmental value if they are properly recycled.

The annual amount of waste Taipei produced has dwindled by almost two-thirds in 10 years from 2000 to 2009 after it carried out a strict garbage sorting policy, which started step by step from the early 1990s.

Compared with fines, which is more useful after the model has matured, giving a small reward is a useful incentive to encourage people to sort their waste.

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