personal note: I will never forget the day a student and I were bicycling to see a famous seafood restaurant sitting on stilts, not far from the campus where I would spend 7 years as a visiting professor in mainland China. As we rode our bicycles leisurely towards the place, I was shocked beyond belief the amount trash on either side of the road to the destination. In some ways I was not really shocked by the site because as I travelled around China…I could see from the passing train the amount trash here and there and everywhere…China was not taking care of their trash…polluting many areas on the margins of towns or cities…and in my many visits to homes of my students, I would see the same ugly sites…of trash everywhere…to me, I concluded that most urban dwellers were recent farmers in China or people who had arrived in cities to live…and they had not learned the habits of urban dwellers…this could explain the trash everywhere! That is my theory…peace, steve, usa june 7, 2019 firstname.lastname@example.org blog – https://getting2knowyou-china.com
Editorial by SCMP Editorial
China must heed Xi’s call on tackling waste
• President stresses key to garbage sorting lies in nurturing good habits, scientific management and a long-term disposal mechanism
, 7 Jun, 2019
Sometimes, it takes the most important person in the land to wake a nation up to a problem. President Xi Jinping has made tackling pollution a priority and ahead of World Environment Day on Wednesday, he stressed the importance of sorting garbage. Some social media users found it odd that so mundane a matter should be on his mind, but they were forgetting how serious the issue is. Societies everywhere face a dilemma about what to do with the mountains of rubbish they produce and greater attention has to be paid to recycling and reducing waste.
Xi said the key to garbage sorting was nurturing good habits, scientific management and a long-term disposal mechanism. He first raised the issue in 2016, calling for a waste disposal system that separates rubbish into categories and properly transports and processes it. A pilot programme was carried out in 46 locations and was extended this year to all cities at prefectural level and above. The move coincided with Beijing putting an end to recycling most materials from other countries, the practice seen as being more polluting than profitable.
Hong Kong has yet to develop a mandatory sorting system for rubbish and recycling remains rudimentary. The government plans to implement waste charging at the end of next year, a move that should spur more responsible disposal. But evidence of the lack of preparedness abounds, the latest being concern that scrap paper and cardboard will pile up following a slashing of the price being paid by mainland recyclers. Elderly people who earned spare cash by collecting and selling it to exporters may no longer find the task worthwhile and the waste is likely to end up in the city’s landfills.
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At issue is sustainable development, a clean and healthy living environment and reducing pollution. Xi has been spearheading efforts for a cleaner environment, from air and water quality to toilets, and have China meet its international climate change goals. Events like the conference in Hangzhou earlier this week on China’s environmental policy promote such efforts; its aim was to be carbon neutral. All people in China need to have a similarly responsible approach towards the garbage they produce.