Select Page

Trash Separation – Zero Waste Village – Chen Liwen

29

September, 2017

GREENEURSHIP

In 2006, Chen Liwen did not choose to become a teacher as her professional career path. Instead, she devoted herself to environmental issues and became a full-time environmentalist. From 2009 to 2015, Ms. Chen focused on solving urban waste by separating trash.

In August 2017, Ms. Chen received a master’s degree in North America and returned to China.Instead of continuing on urban waste, she chose to commit herself to solve village waste.

So far, Ms. Chen has been working on waste issues for nearly 10 years. In June 2017, she began to practice waste sorting in several villages. she has experience and expertise on the development and implementation of waste sorting in rural areas.

 

“source of pollution is relative and reduction at the source is the priority. For example, no leftovers, because the kitchen waste is very polluting regardless of landfill or incineration. Other polluting trash include energy-saving lamps and batteries, as well as some toxic plastics, such as PVC, which need to be avoided.

Animals are disturbed by the scattered trash.

Trash are everywhere in the villages.

Trash are separated and the kitchen waste are being composted. 

After composting the kitchen waste, there is new plant life. 

Source of pollution is relative and reduction at the source is the priority.For example, no leftovers, because the kitchen waste is very polluting regardless of landfill or incineration. Other polluting trash include energy-saving lamps and batteries, as well as some toxic plastics, such as PVC, which need to be avoided.

– Ms. Chen

Do we only need to separate dry and wet waste?

Currently, we still need to divide dry waste into recyclable and other waste, because there are many recyclables in dry waste that are discarded as garbage. Of course, when recyclables are separated, it is necessary to specifically look at what is recycled in the local waste recycling system.

What is the current processing status of the kitchen waste? Is it better to compost yourself? What do you need to pay attention to in urban composting?

 Kitchen waste is currently not handled well in Chinese cities, either without sorting or mechanical sorting of mixed waste compost. For example, the two composting plants in Beijing compost mixed garbage, so the kitchen waste that you can handle at home should not be collected in the centralized collection of municipal systems. On the other hand, it is also possible to reduce the collection and handling of garbage at the source, so that the kitchen waste generated by your own home can be recycled. The kitchen waste can be composted at home, but you need to choose different ways according to your own space, such as anaerobic Bokasi compost, yard, and aerobic compost.

What kinds of garbage are the most polluting?

How should we pay attention? 

Source of pollution is relative and reduction at the source is the priority.For example, no leftovers, because the kitchen waste is very polluting regardless of landfill or incineration. Other polluting trash include energy-saving lamps and batteries, as well as some toxic plastics, such as PVC, which need to be avoided.

How is trash separation different between rural and urban systems? 

At present, the biggest difference between urban and rural trash separation is that in some cities, such as the 46 compulsory waste sorting cities, waste sorting is gradually becoming mandatory, but rural waste separation across the country is not dominant. There are many sources of urban waste, such as units and commercial areas. The rural waste separation is mainly for farmers. Because of the advantages of land and agricultural cultivation in rural areas, the organic matter after garbage sorting can be disposed on site. As the rural areas have independent units, it is easier to classify and collect garbage by time. The city has to solve the challenge regarding how to make use of trash bins for trash separation.

Can alternative materials (such as alternative materials for plastics) reduce environmental pollution at this stage or increase the difficulty of sorting waste?

There is no doubt that reusable packaging is less environmentally costly than disposable plastic packaging. If the package can be replaced with reusable materials, our waste sorting will be easier, because plastic packaging and plastic bags will not need to be reused so much, so there is no need to produce so many disposable items. The amount of other waste will be greatly reduced, or even disappear. This is basically something I apply in my life. I reuse a lot to avoid packaging of food and etc..

What  will electronics, metals, and plastics end up doing if they are not separated? 

If e-waste is not separated and then sent to incineration, it will produce a lot of toxic and harmful substances. For example, one of the sources of dioxins produced by waste incineration is to incinerate garbage with chlorine (or chloride). E-waste and PVC plastic are such garbage. There are many types of plastics. If they are not classified, they will end up being landfilled or burned.

What is the easiest and most understanding (for the public) way of promoting for trash separation(For example: only wet and dry separation; government mandatory)? 

The promotion of waste separation requires two major conditions: one is the hardware facilities for garbage collecting, transporting and sorting, and the other is the economy of whether garbage producers are under positive condition to separate trash effectively. And administrative restraint policies must be in place, and waste sorting education should be put in place. To achieve sustainable development of waste sorting, the waste management department needs to move from the current mixed waste management to the management model of waste sorting and management, and initiate the participation of all people in waste sorting and governance, and everyone needs to participate. It is an effective way to separate wastes by regularly collecting and collecting garbage that does not end in landfill.

About The Author

Juannia Z.

After finishing school with the confidence to join the job market, Juannia suddenly had an existential crisis on the meanings of doing and started to search for her true calling. She realizes she always has cared for the environment besides her big love of music, so she is devoting her energy to be sustainable herself and at the same time sharing with others her journey.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Hi there! Do you want to know what we are up to at The Panda Tribe? Join our bi-weekly newsletter!

You have Successfully Subscribed!