BEIJING -- Starting Friday, Beijing will join a club of Chinese cities to carry out mandatory garbage sorting in new efforts to protect the environment.
With the city's newly revised household waste regulation taking effect, Beijing requires people to classify household waste into four categories: kitchen, recyclable, hazardous and other waste.
The municipal comprehensive law-enforcing bureau of city administration is entitled to impose a fine from 1,000 yuan (141 U.S. dollars) to 50,000 yuan on organizations and from 50 yuan to 200 yuan on individuals in violation of the garbage sorting.
Li Rugang, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Management, said Beijing has set up more than 113,000 garbage sorting bin stations in neighborhoods and 980 closed cleaning and transfer stations to ensure a unified collection and transport of domestic garbage.
Wen Tianwu, deputy director of the law-enforcing bureau, said that the bureau's teams will launch a three-month law enforcement campaign to guide and monitor household garbage sorting on Friday. They will focus on people who fail to sort garbage as required by education and persuasion, written warnings or fines.
In addition to communities, Beijing's scenic spots will replace garbage sorting facilities with colored bins for the four types of classified waste. The municipal education commission requires schools in the city to popularize garbage sorting knowledge throughout the year.
In efforts to reduce the garbage volume, the new regulation forbids Beijing's catering services, including online takeaway food outlets to provide disposable tableware such as bamboo chopsticks, plastic spoons, knives and forks. Meanwhile, hotels and restaurants will not be allowed to provide disposable items such as toothbrushes, combs, bath wipes, nail files and shoe wipes.
The regulation also bans the use of plastic bags with a thickness of less than 0.025 mm (including 0.025 mm) in supermarkets.
The urban management commission has cooperated with the Beijing Gehua CATV Co., Ltd. to launch a small program of "Beijing garbage sorting" on Tencent's social media platform of WeChat. Smartphone users can either input the name of garbage or take a photo of it and upload it on the program to inquire which category it should be classified.
Dongcheng District in the eastern downtown is aimed at setting demonstration garbage sorting stations on each street by the end of this year. The district government vowed that every community of 300 to 500 households should have a garbage sorting station with community service staff on duty to oversee the garbage classification.
Xicheng District in the central downtown area uses a mobile app to carry out door-to-door recycling services.
In 2019, Beijing's residential waste collection and transport volume was 10.116 million tonnes, with an average of 27,700 tonnes per day.
Garbage sorting practices have reached over 70 percent of housing estates in 18 cities, including Shanghai, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
Shanghai has seen 90 percent of housing estates compliant with the mandatory garbage sorting regulation in effect since July 2019.
The city's daily amount of recyclable waste increased by 431.8 percent year on year in 2019, that of wet waste increased by 88.8 percent, and that of hazardous waste increased by 504.1 percent.