Home / China / Society

Shanghai tackles e-waste with innovative approach

By SHI YINGYING in Shanghai | | Updated: 2013-06-04 17:34

Shanghai native Huo Daren said every time he threw out an old fluorescent tube, he felt like he was committing a crime, but he had no choice.

"The neighborhood had a recycling spot for used batteries, but they just drop them into the household garbage once the box is full," complained Huo, who's also a deputy to the National People's Congress.

Zhang Quan, director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, said: "The recycling of some relatively smaller electronic devices, such as remote controls and cell phones, is the focus of our next step."

Fluorescent tubes are classified as hazardous waste as they contain mercury, Zhang said. They are also extremely fragile.

"We're discussing with the city's sanitation department to see whether it's possible to run a pilot project to trade new goods for old in some of the city's big supermarkets," he said.

Shanghai will produce about 3.5 million tons of electronic waste during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), according to Shanghai Evening Post.

The director said each year Shanghai generates about 3 million electronic appliances in waste, mainly televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, air conditions and computers.

Zhang Suxin, president of Shanghai Jinqiao Group, which runs a recycle company and a renewable resource management company, said the firms are doing long-term "guerrilla warfare" with private electronic devices.

Up to 60 percent of residents choose to sell the used devices to waste collectors or secondhand markets, which are easily found in their neighborhoods.

"However, they (those private collectors) cause secondary pollution, without a doubt," said Zhang Suxin.

Shanghai currently has eight recycle companies. The green power e-platform, under Shanghai Jinqiao Renewable Resources Market Management Co Ltd, encourages residents to recycle devices through official channels with a reward system.

A 26-inch color television, for example, could be traded for 6,000 points on a scoring system developed by the website.

A report from the United Nations Environment Program pointed out that China is the second-largest producer of e-waste, after the US, with an estimated 2.3 million tons of waste generated annually.

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349