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Solid Waste Management in China

The Peoples Republic of China is the most populous country in the world, population >1.3 billion One of the fastest growing economies China produces > a billion tons of solid waste, surpassing the USA is set to produce 490 million tons of MSW /year by 2030 according to a World Bank report

MSW Composition
waste ash (approximately 25 million tons per year or 13%) high levels of organic waste (40-65)%

MSW Composition in China compared to USA


Waste Generation & Collection

Rural Solid Waste
Rural residents make up 72% of Chinas population Receive no refuse collection service Refuse dumped on unused land or directly into a river Most rural waste nontoxic The main problems are bacteria.

Municipal Solid Waste

Daily MSW collection and street sweepings Common method of waste collection is a central drop-off scheme for each neighborhood or building Drop off pointsdesignated spot, pile garbage, barrels or bins, refuse sorting centers

MSW Generation contd

Current level of MSW generation in China 0.4 kg/person/day (avg) 0.9 kg/p/day in cities The World Bank estimatesdue to increase in living standard, the avg figure will surpass 1kg/p/day by 2030.

Projected MSW Generation in India, China, USA


Landfilling is the most common method of solid waste disposal Chinas 660 cities have about 1000 landfills Will require an estimated additional 100,000 hectares over the next 30 years
Cities % % W2E Simple Sanitar Faciliti Landfill y es landfill 73 73 24 27 95 74 13 13 84 95 3 0 5 13 3 5

Beijing Tianjin Shangh ai Chongq ing Wuhan Guangj hou


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Waste management system includes a high degree of sorting and recycling Carried out with the manual labor of garbage pickers

Recyclable Materials in Waste Stream



Composting a viable option as 50% of the waste stream consists of biodegradable organics

Principal set-up of Composting Facility


The high food and inorganic waste content of MSW lowers the heating value In the year 2002, the avg calorific value was 3300MJ/kg (ranged from 2000MJ/kg to 7000MJ/kg. ) The World Bank specifies the Autogenic limit for WTE fuel as 6MJ/kg. This means most Chinese MSW cannot sustain combustion without an auxiliary fuel.


The environmental situation in China is dire, and worst in the world at the present time The Chinese Government pushed up environmental spending to 1.5% of GDP (to $US16.5 billion) from around 0.5% presently The Chinese government has been strongly promoting WTE technology and has set a goal for 30% of MSW to be treated by WTE by the year 2030.