Recycling: new road for resource-thirsty China
Updated: 2011-12-30 17:30
By Song Jingli (chinadaily.com.cn)
As China searches the world for resources needed to develop its economy, it may find that the most cost-effective way lies in its emerging recycling economy, said Yang Jingzeng, director of the Institute of Recycling Economy and Technology at China Electronics Engineering Design Institute.
In China, more than 100 tons of copper minerals can only generate one ton of blister copper, but treatment of four to five tons of used wires can generate one ton of refined copper, said Yang.
With growing economic and environmental costs of primary resources, China may have to turn to recycled resources, Yang told chinadaily.com.cn.
Fortunately, China’s recycling economy has developed to its industrialization stage and can relieve the country’s thirst for resources, Yang added.
Yang Jingzeng, director of the Institute of Recycling Economy and Technology at China Electronics Engineering Design Institute
For instance, a factory in Shanxi province inputs used batteries and outputs new batteries that can be directly used in communication devices or cars, he said.
"That was impossible before, with used batteries in one place and treatment factories in another place or even no treatment factories at all," he said.
Market demand and technological innovation will push the fast development of the recycling economy, Yang predicted.
But there is not enough "trash" or "raw material" to be treated for resources.
E-waste, such as used computers or cell phones, are prohibited from being imported due to environmental concerns. He suggested China could at least allow electronic products exported by China to be imported for recycling.
The recycling economy is also limited by a lack of industry experts as it was originated from the traditional "trash-collecting" industry.
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