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Government tackles growing waste problem
April 26,2017   By:China Daily
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April 26, 2017 -- People dispose of trash in Beijing's Fengrongyuan residential community. [Photo by Zhang Wei/China Daily]
 
April 26, 2017 -- A pilot plan has been unveiled to ensure that major cities will sort and separate all household trash by the end of the decade. 
 
New measures have been announced that will require government offices, restaurants and businesses in 46 major cities to sort and separate all household trash, including hazardous waste, kitchen leftovers and recyclable materials, by 2020.
 
The aim is to reduce the environmental risks posed by growing piles of waste in landfills and public places.
 
By the end of the year, the cities will be required to issue plans listing the types of waste they will deal with, and formulate plans for transportation and processing, according to Feng Liang, a senior official for resource conservation and environmental protection at the National Development and Reform Commission.
 
By the end of the decade, the recycling rate for household waste will have risen to at least 35 percent of the national total, he said. The commission, China's top economic planner, and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development have issued the action plan to achieve the target.
 
The move has been warmly welcomed by environmental experts, businesses and other commentators because it is the first time mandatory regulations on the disposal of household trash have been levied at the national level. That illustrates the government's commitment to improving the situation, they said.