Shanghai's less than clear classification of dry and wet garbage has puzzled many Shanghaiists, triggering a flood of dark-humored posts on the country's major social media networks. Now, Shenzhen's urban administration wants to make garbage sorting as simple as possible.
Before Shanghai's trash sorting regulations took effect, Shenzhen had classified domestic trash into recyclables, kitchen waste, hazardous garbage and other waste, staying clear of the confusing definitions of wet and dry trash.
Urban administration officers have taken further steps to detail how to properly sort household trash by explaining the specifics to the news media.
Recyclables refer to those that can be recycled or reused, including glass, metals, plastics, paper and articles made of paper, textiles, furniture, electronic products and potted plants, Yang Lei, vice head of the Shenzhen Municipal Urban Administration and Law Enforcement Bureau, told the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily.
Kitchen waste includes leftover vegetables and rice, vegetable leafs, used tea leafs, egg shells, fruit peels, soup dregs and bones. Hazardous trash includes used batteries and fluorescent tubes. Other waste refers to household garbage not included in the above three types of garbage, including diapers, dirt, cigarette butts, disposable lunch boxes, broken flower pots and bowls, and wallpaper, Yang told the Daily.
While broken batteries should be sealed in a clear bag before being thrown into the used battery bin, broken fluorescent tubes should not be placed in the hazardous waste bin. Instead, they should be wrapped in paper and taped before being thrown into the bin for other waste, Yang explained to residents.
Residents are also reminded not to throw the bag in with the kitchen waste. They should dump the kitchen waste into the bin and then throw the bag into the bin for other waste.
To ensure garbage and waste can be properly processed, kitchen waste should not contain toothpicks or napkins, and worn-out socks, underwear, mops and other dirty textiles should be placed in the bin for other waste rather than the recyclables bin. Contaminated paper, plastic bags or films should also be dumped into the bin for other waste. Plastic bottles, basins and buckets should be cleaned before being placed in the recyclables bin.
Based on the current recycling technology, leaving recyclable articles dirty will render the recycling process ineffective, so items should be cleaned before they are thrown out, Yang said. If residents are not sure of the proper category of a certain object, they can throw it into the bin for other waste. Gradually, they will grasp the correct categories.
Shenzhen plans to remove garbage bins from each floor of residential buildings by the end of 2019.