GRN Recycle Talk FAQ

Date: Tue Jun 30 1998 - 09:36:00 EDT

Date: Tue, 30 Jun 98 14:36 WET DST
Subject: Re: Garbage Collection in Asia (Brad Uribe)

June 30, 1998

Dear Brad Uribe:

Asia is a very big place.

No country will well represent the continent.

China, for example, collects most municipal solid waste to compost it or give it to livestock. Almost all other solid waste is disposed in clay-lined landfills. Beijing has 6,000 landfills. Industrial waste is recycled or incinerated. Most incinerators are not efficient though they do have European-built in scrubbers to reduce emissions. China also has armies of scavengers who engage in unofficial , small scale recycling and reuse. A New York Times article When it comes to trash, Chinese just say throw in the Sunday, 12/8/96 edition, says that the Chinese are notorious for throwing away much packaging, particularly in their waterways.

Japan, on the other hand is notorious for incinerating everyhting in very up-to-date waste-to-energy incinerators. With no land to waste with landfills and a culture that despises old things and worships new things, recycling does not make a socially significant impact, though it does happen.

Korea, China, and southeast Asia recycle first world recyclables, partiularly papers and plastics to make new products and provide e.g. the US and Finland with an export market that keeps our ports bustling. The single most shipped commodity from the ports of NY/NJ and Los Angeles is waste paper, not all of which is bound for Asia, but some of which is bound there.

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