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Treating rubbish as a resource

[ 2010-05-12 11:48]     字号 [] [] []  
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The country loses about 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) each year due to the lack of recycling programs that would reuse urban rubbish, experts said on Tuesday.

"Rubbish is a resource, as long as it's properly treated," Chen Yong, director of the Guangdong branch of Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in a report on the development of Chinese cities.

China produces more than 152 million tons of garbage every year, with recent annual increases of 8 to 10 percent, said the report released by the Beijing-based China science center of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences.

"Most of the rubbish could find new uses if we had an efficient system for sorting it," Chen said.

The amount of rubbish has been growing rapidly in China, accounting for about 26.5 percent of the world's total, Chen said.

With the rapid growth in urban populations, the treatment of garbage has become a headache for city administrators.

Leaving the garbage in open air, burning, or burying it all cause environmental concerns and the trash occupies valuable city land, the report said.

For example, rubbish landfills in Beijing have taken more than 20,000 mu, or 1,333 hectares, of land and the area is increasing about 500 mu, or 33 hectares, every year, according to the report.

Therefore, the development of a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society has become a high priority for the transitional economy and society in China today, the report said.

More than 130 companies build garbage treatment facilities in China for a market that is expanding at nearly 25 percent annually, according to the All-China Environment Federation.

Beijing plans to create 300 community rubbish recycling stations as a part of a "Renewable Resource Recycling Day" this year, to encourage people to recycle rubbish near their homes.

"We should enhance public awareness and establish a system of laws and regulations for developing a recycling economy," Chen said in the report.

The country needs to use science and technology in rubbish recycling, with the awareness that the wrong methods could cause secondary pollution, the report said.

"The country has begun to be concerned about the low-carbon economy we need to use advanced technology and management tools to improve energy utilization efficiency," Mao Qizhi, a professor with Tsinghua University, said.


1. How much money is lost through lack of recycling programs?

2. How many tons of garbage are produced each year?

3. How many mu do landfills take up in Beijing?


1. 20 billion yuan.

2. 152 million tons.

3. More than 20,000 mu.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Treating rubbish as a resource

Treating rubbish as a resource

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.