The collection system for residential recyclables in communities in Haidian District, Beijing: a possible approach for China recycling.Waste Manag. 2008; 28(9):1672-80.WM
Recycling and reusing recyclables is an important way to solve the municipal solid waste (MSW) problem. As the collection of solid waste takes up the largest percentage of MSW management budgets, improving the collection of recyclables is important. Since the decline of government-run waste buying depots in the late 1980s, the collection of recyclables from households and waste deposit sites in China is done by buyers with small informal bases and waste pickers, who are usually unskilled rural people who have come to the cities. Because of this, the current system is seen to have social problems. So, the recyclable collection system has both social as well as economic significance. China is in the process of rapid industrialization and urbanization, and a new mode of community collection system is emerging. It operates by market mechanisms, with waste collection companies that are supported by the municipal government, establishing recycle service sites, and employing workers to buy recyclables door-to-door. This paper is a case study of the new system in the Haidian District, Beijing. It summarizes the system, compares it to experiences in other countries and discusses whether the new approach contributes to resources recycling in China.