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Good intentions end up in the trash

[ 2011-04-27 10:44]     字号 [] [] []  
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More than 90 percent of Chinese citizens are aware that separating trash into different materials can lead to more recycling, according a recent survey by China Youth Daily.

Even so, fewer than 20 percent said they are willing to act in accordance with that knowledge.

The Beijing-based newspaper polled 2,004 respondents, about 25 percent of whom live in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

According to the survey, more than 90 percent of the respondents said they approve of the policies encouraging them to separate different types of garbage and 58 percent said they are strongly supportive of such policies.

But only 18 percent have consistently abided by the policies.

In addition, although a majority of the survey respondents said they see benefits to waste classification, only 12 percent know that there is a way to do it properly.

The classification and recycling of garbage has been practiced in some Chinese cities as early as 2000, yet none of them seem to have achieved the results they wanted.

For example, China produces 28 million tons of kitchen garbage a year, most of which is buried in landfills, according to Nie Yongfeng, a professor at Tsinghua University.

The government's poor management of waste contributes to the lackluster results, said Xie Xinyuan, of the research and investigation department of Friends of Nature, a non-governmental environmental protection organization.

"Instead of adding dust bins and garbage delivery centers, government officials should learn more from experts specializing in community work," Xie said.

An incentive system should also be built to encourage recycling, according to Xie.

Fang Ling, a Beijing resident living in the Dongcheng district, no longer puts waste into different containers.

"After I found the garbage I had carefully separated and classified had been mixed together by the garbage collectors, I stopped separating it," Fang said.

Feng Yongfeng, the founder of the Beijing-based environmental protection organization Da'erwen, said he agreed that the practices used to treat waste in China will not change without the help of the government.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Good intentions end up in the trash

About the broadcaster:

Good intentions end up in the trash

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.