Guangzhou has generated an average of 18,000 tons of garbage every day so far this year – an increase of about 10.75 percent compared to 2015 – according to reports cited in a recent article in Guangzhou Daily.
In the first half of this year, the city’s landfill, incineration and biochemical treatment facilities saw 3.333 million tons of garbage pass through, forcing provincial and city-level officials to draft new legislation to deal with the massive increase in waste.
On October 28 and 31, Zhang Guangning, deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial People’s Congress, visited residential waste disposal facilities in Shenzhen and Guangzhou as part of an ongoing research effort and investigation.
The city of Guangzhou has announced plans to increase its total waste removal handling capacity to 6.76 million tons this year (compared to 6.04 million tons in 2015), and is in the process of constructing 13 new garbage disposal facilities in addition to the nine currently in use.
While the rapid increase in waste is becoming a serious problem in China, Guangzhou still ranks far behind New York City in terms of garbage production. According to Brian Merchant of Vice’s Motherboard who cites data published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, New York is the world’s most wasteful city, creating 33 million tons of waste a year. Next in line is Mexico City, with a comparatively modest 12 million tons of trash, and then Tokyo, which generates around 11.2 million tons of rubbish per annum (albeit with a full dozen million more citizens than NYC).
In the last three years, Guangzhou has experimented with a number of methods to curb waste production, including charging people according to how much garbage they generate and paying companies to process recyclable waste that has little value. So far, however, none of these plans has successfully offset the annual increase in waste production.
[Cover image via Delta Bridges]