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Beijing backs recycling with major funding

Asia – China’s capital Beijing has pledged to recycle at least 35% of household waste by the end of 2020, Reuters has reported. Government officials have increased the budget for this mission to more than 200 billion yuan (US$ 28.9 billion), especially meant to enhance home sorting and disposal.

Beijing’s population of roughly 22 million people generates such a rapidly growing waste stream that no less than 8.7 million tonnes of household waste was collected last year.

This is almost double the amount collected 10 years ago, making Beijing the country’s biggest producer of waste.

‘There are only classification targets…but no punitive measures for residents who disobey the instructions,’ comments said Yang Kun, a city management official. ‘We can only persuade them and introduce incentives.’

Indeed, the central government has promised this month to make garbage sorting compulsory in 46 cities by the end of 2020, including Beijing. Ultimately, the success requires adding another 50 000 so-called "Green Armband" workers to the cause.

Meanwhile, incineration rates in Beijing have quadrupled to 42% in the last decade. Due to the growing waste concerns, the plan is to expand the four existing waste-to-energy plants to a total of 10.

Over the last few years, Beijing officials shut down 82 processing facilities and 1000 illegal landfills.

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