Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, is to make it compulsory for public organizations and 100 pilot residential communities to sort domestic garbage, starting in September, according to the Shanghai news portal The Paper.
Such regulations were praised by Liu Huanbin, former president of the South China University of Technology. Liu noted that the key to putting the regulation into practice is detailed planning for waste sorting on the part of the government, including incentives and punishments.
Apart from waste sorting, public opinion also focuses on what happens to the garbage when it is taken away, as there is great concern over the pollution generated by waste incineration in China.
Yang Zhongyi, dean of the Institute of Ecology and Environment at Sun Yat-sen University, countered this concern, saying that current techniques for waste incineration are advanced and any harm to the environment or people’s health is not as serious as residents thought. Liu also said that waste incineration is still an important and effective part of waste processing.
Liu added that the residents' concern comes mainly from the poisonous dioxins emissions caused by the burning of plastics, stressing that the level of harm waste incineration causes depends on the sorting of the waste being burned, since toxic substances would not be generated if residents follow waste sorting regulations.