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News from China
Litterbugs and careless trash bin users beware! New rules loom
27th June 2019

 Shanghai’s tough new garbage management regulations come into effect on July 1 after months of carrot-and-stick efforts to persuade the public to sort trash into bins designated for dry, wet, recyclable and hazardous wastes.

Undercover visits by Shanghai Daily reporters to venues such as tourist attractions and Metro stations found a mixed picture of public compliance. Some people applauded them and some still expressed confusion.
Once the new regulations come into effect, violators may face hefty fines.
On streets and in Metro stations, only bins for dry trash and recyclable rubbish are provided. There are few bins around for disposal of food waste because eating is not encouraged in public venues.
Come July 1, people who dump takeaway food waste or other wet garbage into dry or recyclable trash bins face fines of up to 200 yuan (US$29).
Bins for wet trash are provided only in commercial or tourist areas with high concentrations of eateries, according to the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau.
Bureau officials said bins aren’t provided for wet waste and hazardous trash in public areas to reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of garbage collection. It’s a common practice in other countries, they said.
People are urged to carry their own garbage bags to collect any wet waste they produce when out in public and then dispose it in bins back home. Residential blocks are equipped with bins for the four kinds of waste, and programs to educate people about sorting trash have been intensive.
But out in public, the sorting equation becomes more complicated.
A Shanghai Daily reporter who randomly checked six bins at the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall, a landmark tourist attraction in Shanghai, spotted food waste – including bread, fruit and cups still half-full of milk tea – in bins designated for dry and recyclable rubbish.
"I didn’t pay attention to the signs on the bins," said a tourist from Anhui Province, after she dumped unfinished barbecue food into a bin for recyclable waste.
She added: "If there is no bin for wet trash at tourist attractions where there are a lot of food stalls, what are we supposed to do? I don't want to carry food waste with me all day while I am sightseeing.”
Liu Shuang, a tourist from Suzhou in neighboring Jiangsu Province, was more acquiescent.
"No bin for wet garbage in public areas reduces the workload of sanitation workers," she said. "I am willing to cooperate and take food waste with me until I find an appropriate bin to dump it.”
Authorities are cutting the number of waste bins in public areas in Shanghai to improve and adjust the distribution of bins, and make the public form the habit of correct dumping and the awareness of reducing the production of garbage.
Authorities are actually reducing the number of waste bins in some public areas in Shanghai. They say not as many bins will be needed as the public becomes more used to intelligent trash disposal and embraces environmental efforts to reduce waste.
On Nanjing Road E., the number of bins has been cut to 46 from 129 in recent months. The incidence of littering did not increase, Ping Yongshu, a street sweeper for nearly 30 years, said of his patch between Fujian Road M. and Xizang Road M.
"They were not removed all of a sudden, but in phases," said Shi Qi, who heads the sanitation team on the road. "We surveyed the area in terms of pedestrian traffic during the May Day holiday before we decided to remove the final 20 bins. We need to place more bins in crowded areas, and fewer or no bins in others.”
A Shanghai Daily reporter who stood along Nanjing Road E. for about 45 minutes saw no littering.
In Changning and Jing’an districts, garbage bins on roads and in public squares have been reduced to 1,000-plus from 3,000-plus
At the Yuyuan Garden Mall, Wei Tianhai, a man in charge of handling Yuyuan’s trash, said there were originally 37 big bins in the mall area, which were changed to about 20 sets of categorized bins in April.
Now there are wet trash cans in the restaurant district, but only dry and recyclable waste bins in areas with few eateries. There are exceptions, of course. In Huabao Building Square, where there is high tourist traffic, bins are provided for all four trash categories, including hazardous waste such as batteries.
A sanitation worker surnamed Zhang, who keeps Zigzag Bridge Square clean, told Shanghai Daily that two bins had been removed from the square but she hadn’t really noticed any more trash on the ground. But some people still don’t dump trash in the right receptacles, she added.
“Some people try to put food waste in the bin for dry trash, so I have to tell them to walk 30 meters to the wet garbage can at the Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant,” she said. “Most of them are happy to do so. It was a bit difficult at first, but now I don’t feel any embarrassment when I confront people. It’s just a matter of forming a habit
A reporter who spent about half an hour in the square didn’t see anyone dropping litter. Five tourists who were interviewed at the site said at first they found the new system irritating. However, when the purpose of trash-sorting was explained, most of them agreed that it is a good idea.
A Starbucks barista named Molly said the lack of wet bins is a good thing because food waste tends rot, smell and attract flies.
Another street cleaner said he now needs to clean up trash in his area every 10 minutes instead of 30 minutes in the past, but he approves of the new regulations.
The amount of trash on his route remains more or less the same, he explained, but fewer, smaller bins mean the waste has to be collected more often.
"Trash disposal has become much more orderly,” he said. “Shops must sort their garbage before I collect it, rather than just dumping it in any old bin on the street."
A visitor from Switzerland, who gave his name only as Giuseppe, said there really should be more garbage bins on the streets.
“People may just throw their litter in the street if there’s no bin at hand,” he said. “In Switzerland, we separate our household garbage at home, but on the streets, trash cans are for everything, and we have a lot of them. Otherwise, teenagers who go out at night and get drunk will just throw bottles in the streets.”
On the Bund, there’s still work to be done. Half-eaten biscuits and fruit peels were spotted in both dry and recyclable bins.
“I don’t know about the regulations or the different types of waste,” said a man who dropped an unfinished corn cob into a bin for recyclable trash. “There are so many types of trash. It’s all very confusing.”
“Garbage-sorting has become a hot topic of everyone in Shanghai these days, with July 1 approaching,” said Dai Wenwen, a local resident of the Bund area. “I try to remember each category of trash, and I don’t eat food in public areas. I think garbage sorting is important and necessary.”
People may have to think twice about eating breakfast or snacks in Metro stations once the new regulations come into force.
All stations have bins only for recyclable and dry garbage.
Wet waste bins aren’t provided, according to the Shanghai Landscaping and City Appearance Administrative Bureau, because the city does not encourage people to eat in public places.
The bureau conducted a survey that found most trash generated in public is dry or recyclable.
Passengers who want to eat in transit should carry bags for wet waste and take them home to deposit in appropriate bins.
Less than a week before the regulations take effect, a Shanghai Daily reporter checked out several Metro stations on litter disposal.
At the West Nanjing Road Station of Line 2, bottles were found in dry garbage bins and an apple core was found in a recyclable bin.
The reporter stood near the bins for about 10 minutes and saw about seven people throwing away tissues, paper and empty cups in bins chosen at random.
One passenger threw a Starbucks coffee cup into the dry garbage bin, with her eyes fixed on her phone, not on the bin.
Another passenger hesitated in front of the bins for a while with half a cup of bubble tea, then he decided it should go into the recyclable bin.
“I can’t finish it. I’m full,” he said when queried about his choice of bin and then walked away.
Shanghai Metro said staff will do their best to explain rubbish disposal to passengers who violate the rules or don’t understand them.
“We can’t issue fines, but urban management officers will be able to do so,” a Metro official explained.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 27, 2019
Pudong measures aimed to spur development
26th June 2019

 A new set of measures have been announced by the city government yesterday to push the Pudong New Area to become the nucleus of high-quality Chinese-style development.

Under the fresh new measures, Pudong will deepen reform and expand the opening-up that will see it play a leading role in the country. It will focus on technological innovation and industry upgrade and promote urban construction to create a better life for its residents.
If the announced 20 measures are implemented, Pudong’s GDP is very likely to witness an annual increase of 7-8 percent. After seven years, Pudong’s economic aggregate is expected to exceed 2 trillion yuan (US$29 billion), according to Ma Chunlei, director of Shanghai Development and Reform Commission.
Pudong will be granted greater autonomy in economic regulation, administrative examination, making plans and in law enforcement.
It means that Pudong will have the same rights as a city government in managing local economic affairs. In some cases, it will no longer need approval from the city. It can make its own decision and implement it as well.
The new area will continue to streamline administrative processes to create better business environment. For example, opening a hotel usually requires visits to different departments for several licenses, including fire certificate and food safety license. But under the new measures, a single comprehensive operation license will do.
“Standards will be announced soon,” said Hang Yingwei, director of Pudong.
Besides, Pudong hopes to become a global innovation center with original ideas and a great ecosystem — a key factor for that being attracting more talent. Under new measures, Pudong will relax restrictions on age, education background and work experience to woo foreign talent.
Fu Guoqing, deputy director of Shanghai Science and Technology Commission, said Pudong will be the first to explore the “credit management” system, under which companies with good credits will be given priorities.
These companies will not have to submit foreign talent’s working experience documents, occupational and police clearance certificates. They don’t need to go to the educational authorities or embassies and consulates to authenticate educational certificates.
Every paper submitted to obtain working and residence permits for foreign talent will be considered authentic, meaning these companies don’t need to wait for days for officials to check the papers, Fu added.
Pudong accounts for one-fifth of the city’s total land area and one-fourth of the population, but it contributes one-third of the city’s economic aggregate. In 2018, the regional GDP exceeded 1 trillion yuan.
Pudong has 2,247 innovation companies, accounting for 25 percent of the city’s total. It has identified six “core industries,” namely, integrated circuit, new medicine, smart manufacturing, aviation and aerospace, future cars and big data.
Last year, the industrial scale of the integrated circuit in Pudong reached 100 billion yuan, accounting for 73 percent of the city’s total. Now, it is promoting the construction of an integrated circuit industrial park that is likely to attract thousands of companies.
In the pharmaceutical field, the industrial scale in Pudong reached 67.2 billion yuan last year, about 46 percent of the city’s total. A 10-square-kilometer industrial zone that involves all chains is currently being built.
Besides, Pudong is accelerating the development of its Zhangjiang artificial intelligence island and Lingang smart manufacturing base, an aviation industrial park in Zhuqiao Town.
Tesla’s plant in Lingang is expected to be put into operation by the end of this year. Pudong aims to create more than 200-billion-yuan worth of new-energy and AI-backed cars. 5G, the latest technological trend, will be trialed in Pudong first.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 26, 2019
Sorting trash only one factor in waste-disposal equation
25th June 2019

 Shanghai is encouraging residents to sort their garbage, with new regulations coming into effect on July 1 that will impose fines for those who don’t separate dry rubbish, wet trash, hazardous waste and recyclable materials.

But that’s just the front end of the problem of mounting garbage in Chinese cities. The focus is shifting to new technologies that convert garbage to productive uses and thus divert it from landfills that are rapidly filling up.
One concept already implemented in some cities of Europe is catching attention: using downtown incinerators to burn trash and create energy. The mere thought of an incineration plant in a neighborhood might imply backlash from NIMBYs, or “not in my backyard” folks, but Paris got around that problem.
The Isséane incineration plant, about two kilometers from the Eiffel Tower, converts garbage into energy used to supply electricity to homes.
The plant, built in 2007, is 52 meters high, but only 21 meters of the facility is visible. The rest of the operations are below ground and out of sight. Above, the area is landscaped to mitigate any remaining unsightliness. In other words, the incineration plant is not a neighborhood eyesore or pollutant.
Advance gas treatment technology used at the plant means there is no plume from the stack of the incinerator. Half of the energy generated from burning garbage provides electricity for about 80,000 households in Paris.
Paris aside, waste incineration plants are popping up in other densely populated centers in Europe. That means garbage does not need to be trucked to remote suburbs.
“The European model is suitable for China,” said Mike Wood, vice president of new business development at the Soda Ash and Derivatives Business Unit of Solvay China. “A waste incinerator plant can be located downtown. It can be used for heating or generating power. Beijing and Shanghai are great places to deploy such a model because of their high energy needs.”
Wang Yan, business development manager at the division of Solvay China, said the technology of “dry sorbent injection,” which keeps emissions from waste incineration plants within strict standards, was introduced into China about four years ago. However, it has been mainly applied in power, chemical and metals plants.
Over 100 plants in China use the technology to reduce gas emissions and meet the stringent standards of Chinese regulations, including Ansteel.
“Beginning this year, we are focusing on gas treatment in garbage incineration because the need for incineration plants is growing as the Chinese government tackles the waste problem,” Wang said.
“We will first focus on dangerous waste because emissions from hazardous waste are more difficult to control,” she added. “Treating domestic waste will be our second phase of work. We are supplying materials for waste incineration to China Everbright International Co. by testing the gas and running plant trials. We are confident the technology will prove advantageous.”
Solvay China is also planning to work with the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Ecology and Environment, which is in charge of most of waste incineration in Shanghai.
“The trend of garbage treatment will be ‘classification, recycling and reuse,’” said Wood, who has experience with the European programs. “Waste incineration should never be just waste incineration; it should be energy generation because it’s an ongoing source of energy.”
Waste is indeed a vexing public problem. In 2018, the total volume of domestic garbage in Shanghai hit 9.8 million tons. Capacity to handle the waste is being enhanced by the construction of more facilities.
However, the disposal of hazardous waste – which includes items like batteries and paints -- is much more acute. In 2018, the city's industrial hazardous waste rose to 1.3 million tons.
As of the end of 2018, there were 10 hazardous waste disposal facilities in Shanghai, including three waste landfills, one incineration facility for medical waste and seven hazardous waste incinerators.
Total disposal capacity was 391,800 tons a year, with 126,200 tons buried and 265,600 tons incinerated.
In tandem with the Chinese government’s intensified efforts to address increasing mountains of rubbish, many companies are providing innovative products to help the campaign along.
Some artificial intelligence and chip companies in China have introduced face recognition products to detect those who violate sorting regulations and to help instill good habits among residents.
China Telecom has developed a smart garbage classification and recycling system that automatically identifies categories of garbage and can calculate its value.
Some companies are selling household items that make sorting easier. Blum, an Austrian hardware company, developed a drawer installed under kitchen sinks that collects kitchen waste.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 25, 2019
Castle of Dreams' from Iran wins the best film award at SIFF
24th June 2019

 Iranian drama “Castle of Dreams” won the best feature film at the Golden Goblet awards ceremony of the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday. 

The film is a touching story about a father, who after long years of absence fulfills his children’s fantasy of building a dream castle.
Reza Mirkarimi, director of the movie, also won the best director award.
“It is a fantastic night for me,” said Mirkarimi. “We had a good time in this beautiful city of Shanghai. Thank you for your hospitality and attention to my film.”
Iranian actor Hamed Behdad, who plays the role of father in the fim shared the best actor award with 97-year-old Chinese actor Chang Feng.
Behdad extended his gratitude to the jury panel in a recorded video message.
Chang portrays an old soldier longing to be back home in “The Return.” He told the audience that it was not easy for him to receive the award at his age.
Georgian Salome Demuria was named the best actress for her portrayal of a doctor who returns home after serving a long prison term in “Inhale-Exhale,” a Georgian-Russian-Swedish co-production.
The film also earned the Jury Grand Prix.
“It is a special day for me,” said Demuria. “This award will change my life.”
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 24, 2019

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