China to spend US$37 billion to reduce waste: Report

Channel NewsAsia 28 Jan 17;

SINGAPORE: China will spend 252 billion yuan (almost US$37 billion) through 2020 to tackle the country's growing waste problem.

According to a Caixin report, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) plans to allocate two-thirds of the money towards "non-harmful" methods of disposing household waste including incineration, landfills and recycling.

This is aimed at reducing soil and water pollution caused by such waste, it said in a statement on Sunday (Jan 22).

An unnamed NDRC official also said that in the next few weeks, a regulation will be announced making it compulsory for households and businesses to sort waste, according to the report.

The commission had said in its statement that systems will be established by 2020 for the sorting of household garbage in parts of China such as Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai and Tianjin, as well as in the provincial capitals, before the waste is sent to landfills.

This will allow all organic substances to be incinerated, reducing landfill waste.

According to Caixin, about US$1.4 billion has been earmarked for waste-sorting pilot programmes aimed at a pre-2020 launch.

The NDRC said that it wants to reduce the amount of household waste dumped in landfills each day from 501,500 tonnes in 2015 to 477,100 tonnes by 2020.

China, which has been hit by smog, introduced industry-specific environmental protection taxes in December 2016, levying among others - companies that emit exceeding levels of coal and "hazardous waste".

- CNA/hs

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