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Garbage sorting faces embarrassing situation in Beijing

2010-03-03 13:35 BJT

Second, the community's residents thought even if they sorted the garbage, the sanitation department would mix it all together again so it did not make any difference if they sorted it or not.

Third, in the past, the residents in the community were all original residents so they were easily mobilized. Now, however, more and more young people are living in the community and many of them do not know the "glorious history" of the community as a "pilot project" and "trial spot," and in addition, they are busy with their work so they are more likely to just dispose of their waste as quickly as possible, regardless of where it goes.

Although they all have different opinions, the residents all hope the garbage bags could be handed out again. Besides, they also held different views about the garbage sorting. A young person, who was about to go out on his bicycle, explained to the reporter how he sorted the garbage in his house, "The useful bottles and old newspapers are sold to the salvage station and the used batteries are dropped into that special can. As for the other garbage, I do not think it needs to be recycled."

Finally, several residents suggested that the reporter ask Song, the old man who is responsible for looking after vehicles in the community. It is said that "he often looks through the sorting trashcans for garbage that has not been sorted."

Property management company's account book

An investment of almost 30,000 yuan a year did not bring any return

The property management company of Jiangong Nanli community has been operating at a loss for years, and it has never made ends meet because of the money it spends on garbage disposal.

According to statistics from an environmental protection organization, about 700 kilograms of garbage is sorted every day in the community, of which, about 140 kilograms can be recycled. About 100 kilograms of garbage is generated from kitchens.

Before 2008, kitchen garbage was treated by an organic garbage treatment machine in the community. The machine, which cost 120,000 yuan, was bought jointly by Xuanwu District government and the property management company in December 2002. Once in the machine, kitchen garbage will be broken down with bacteria microbes, and the garbage would become useful several hours later. The process is not dangerous at all and no odors are emitted throughout the process, and the leftover waste in the machine can be changed into green fertilizer. The machine can treat about 100 kilograms of kitchen garbage a day, or about 36 tons a year, and as a result, more than 200 kilograms of manure can be generated.

Though the technology is advanced, the cost to run the machine is very high. The machine consumes about 35 kilowatt-hours of electricity a day, and the electricity bills total over 5,000 yuan a year. Two years later, the machine was run only once in the morning and once in the afternoon, instead of running all day long, and the microbes were replaced once a year instead of twice a year. In addition to the 30,000 yuan to buy the equipment, the property management company has also had to pay almost 20,000 yuan every year to run the machine.

Later, Xuanwu District started to subsidize the communities that ran the machine. In 2007, a NGO in Beijing conducted a survey about garbage sorting in communities and found that there were more than 30 communities and companies that enjoyed subsidies for treating their kitchen garbage, but among the surveyed 13 communities, only Jiangong Nanli community ran their machine for long periods of time. The preliminary survey by the Beijing Evening News also found that the kitchen treating machines in most communities were left idle. At the end of 2008, the community’s machine broke down, and as a result, for more than one year, kitchen garbage had to be carried outside of the community for disposal.