Local legislators approved Shanghai’s first-ever domestic garbage management regulation on January 31.
Among the 834 deputies of the Shanghai People’s Congress who voted on the draft, 818 voted for and five against, with 11 abstaining.
The regulation will enter into force on July 1 this year.
It classifies domestic garbage into recyclable, hazardous, wet and dry garbage, and it must be sorted accordingly — if not, people, companies or other organizations in charge could face punishments in the form of fines and deductions from personal credit.
According to the regulation, recyclable garbage includes used paper, plastics, glassware, metal or textiles, while hazardous garbage includes used batteries, light tubes, medicines, paint and its containers.
Wet garbage is defined as biological garbage that’s easy to rot, such as food leftovers, expired food, fruit peels and cores, plants and residue of TCM herbs. Dry garbage is all other garbage that is not classified by the above categories.
Garbage tanks for wet and dry garbage in the city are marked with “household food waste” and “residual waste.”
Individuals who refuse to properly sort out their garbage face fines of 50 to 200 yuan (US$7.50 to US$29), and companies and other organizations could be fined 5,000 to 50,000 yuan.
The parties responsible for overseeing garbage sorting, such as property management firms of residential complexes and office buildings, will be fined 500 to 5,000 yuan for refusing to properly set up garbage collection and sorting facilities, and 500 to 5,000 yuan for failing to properly sort out different kinds of garbage before it’s transported away.
The law enforcers of the above stipulations will be urban management authorities.
Residents who are to recycle “large and whole pieces” of garbage, such as used furniture, may make reservations with registered recycling businesses, or deposit them at places designated by parties responsible for overseeing garbage sorting. Such garbage should be sorted, dismantled and processed into useful resources or to reduce detriment to the environment.
With regard to unwanted electric and electronic devices, smaller objects should be put into garbage tanks for recyclable waste, and larger ones should be recycled with registered recycling businesses.
To reduce garbage, the regulation bans hotels from providing customers disposable items in rooms when not specifically requested, and restaurants and food delivery businesses will also be banned from providing customers with disposable tableware such as chopsticks and spoons unless requested.
When they are requested to, they should provide environment-friendly disposable room items or tableware, it stipulates.
The above businesses will be fined 500 to 5,000 yuan if they fail to rectify their practices within a certain period, as stipulated by government inspectors.
The law enforcers of restaurants and food delivery businesses are market inspectors, and those for hotels are cultural and tourism authorities.
The bill was passed at the closing plenary meeting of the second session of the 15th Shanghai People’s Congress, which was held from January 27 to 31.