Recycling in Shanghai

It’s about time. Starting July 1st, 2019, Shanghai has introduced the regulations on household trash sorting. You will be charged penalty fees if you do not sort your trash properly. 

Here are some infographics that can assist you in your trash sorting success. 

(I don’t own any of these infographics. Simply re-sharing infographics I have come across.)

The four categories and brief descriptions:

Some common examples that would fall into each category:

Although in Chinese, this one has more icons to help guide you:

I found the following recycling instructions to be very interesting. I’ll call it the Peppa Pig instructions. Translations for the four categories are:

  • Something that pigs will eat. = Household food waste
  • Something that pigs won’t eat. = Residual Waste
  • Something that pigs will die from eating. = Hazardous Waste
  • Something that can be sold (and then buy more pigs) = Recyclable Waste

However, why pig-shame pigs? Just think of the consequences of stray dogs or cats eating the wastes… would they:

eat it and survive? Household food waste.
not eat it and move on? Residual waste. 
eat it and get poisoned or die? Hazardous waste. 

Painful at first but after we develop the habit of sorting trash, we won’t burn as much calories thinking “which category does this trash fall under?” People from countries where recycling is done more strictly will know that there is still a long way to go for recycling in Shanghai. The four categories are still very vague and, somewhere down the line in the process, someone else will still end up resorting the sorted trash. Nonetheless, it’s a start and good for Shanghai for paving the path for other cities in China. 

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen!! Happy sorting. 

P.S. I can’t wait until Shanghai introduce rules that ban people from playing music / videos on speaker-mode on the subways. It would be even nicer if they can strongly enforce the “先上后下” etiquette that they currently only broadcast on their audio systems. In Beijing, I heard there are some scary middle-aged volunteers, especially during rush hours, that will scold at people who are not lining up or pushing their way on to the trains before passengers have gotten off. 

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