Many developing countries are facing the problem of overflowing trash, including the booming country of China. Several cities are trying out new solid waste management infrastructures, due to the lack of landfill space left. The bigger cities in China are implementing a waste sorting system that will have approximately 4 different waste categories to keep waste away from the landfills.
The southern city of Guangzhou is one of the cities attempting the new waste structure for the coming year. Their new structure will incorporate lower fees, four different waste sorting categories, and bag fees. The four waste categories include “kitchen waste” and “other waste”, which will both have a fee, and “hazardous waste”, and “recyclable waste”, which will both be picked up free of charge.
The purpose of the sorting structure is to divert trash away from the city’s landfills. At the rate Guangzhou is producing trash at 10,000 tons a day, the landfills will be at capacity by 2015- nearly a year from now. Other methods of keeping waste away from the landfills have not had the support of the citizens. This includes the recent proposal for a new incinerator. The production of the incinerator has been suspended for three-years due to a “not-in-my-back-yard” objection, once again leaving waste only for the landfills.
As for the fee structure, the rates will no longer be a consistent 15 yuan per month, instead they will install a pay-as-you-throw payment method. Taking into account how much waste you are producing by charging bag fees. The bag fees will range from 0.1 to 0.5 yuan, which vary with the size of the bag. The pay-as-you-throw payment method is being installed in order to dissuade citizens from throwing their waste away.
Some residents are excited because the new method will save them money each month. While others oppose the new structure due to the difficulty of sorting their trash. They believe sorting trash into four categories will be too time consuming to add to their daily activities. The opposition also believes the new pay structure will allow the city to charge more fees, which would in turn increase their monthly payment to more than before. The city has specified that they are not trying to charge extra fees, but will have to if the bags are not sorted when they are picked up.
Guangzhou is clearly in desperate need of a solution that will divert waste away from the landfills. Do you think this is plausible solution for Guangzhou? Or is there something else they could do to solve their trash problem?