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China plans recycling project “No-Waste Cities”

In light of the alarming increase of 10 billion tons of waste every year, the Chinese central government has now announced the pilot program No-Waste City in 16 regions, including major cities such as Shenzhen and Weihai. The program, spearheaded by Zhuang Guotai, vice-minister of ecology and environment, will support provincial governments with financial, technical and policy support and help build the necessary infrastructure and facilities to dispose domestic waste products. The State Council has already introduced the No-Waste City plan in January 2019 with the aim of minimizing the growing stockpile and to develop approaches to safely dispose solid waste. Now, an administrative framework has been set up to guide the pilot programs and to monitor progress as the projects evolve. Until 2020, the authorities plan to also estalish an Index system as well as an “institutional and technical system for the management of such cities”. Guotai anticipates potential spill-over effects and encourages neighbouring provincial governments to launch similar programs in the future. Du Xiangwan, an academic from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, expects great social and economic benefits from this recycling scheme, notably the creation of around 40-50 million new jobs as the recycling process of waste will fuel the industrial recycling sector.

Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership

The partnership is working to influence political dialogue to address the challenges created by a fast-paced urbanization process and climate change in both China and Germany. It aims to create platforms for cross-city institutional exchange of experiences, facilitate knowledge exchange and promote capacity building that can drive the development of joint solutions to these challenges. Key targets of the exchange are to reduce CO2 emissions, promote a more balanced urbanization development and improve quality of life in cities in both China and Germany.