The recyclable waste recycling potential towards zero waste cities - A comparison of three cities in China

Gu, B. and Tang, X. and Liu, L. and Li, Y. and Fujiwara, T. and Sun, H. and Gu, A. and Yao, Y. and Duan, R. and Song, J. and Jia, R. (2021) The recyclable waste recycling potential towards zero waste cities - A comparison of three cities in China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 295. ISSN 0959-6526

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Abstract

Recycling is an essential practice for the successful operation of zero waste cities. It is essential to understand the recyclable waste recycling potential (RWRP). This study quantifies the RWRP of different cities in China. Suzhou, Yangzhou, and Suqian represent high-, middle- and low-income cities, respectively. The RWRP statistics are based on systematic multiple longitudinal tracking field surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019. Obvious RWRP spatio-temporal disparities were observed between inter-city and intra-city. For instance, Suzhou showed a slight increase in high resource value paper; Yangzhou had a slight increase in low resource value paper; and Suqian had a huge increase in no resource value paper and plastic. Additionally, more recyclable organics were generated in the old districts of Suzhou, and they were also predominant in the new districts of Yangzhou. No significant difference was observed in recyclable organics and recyclable material in Suqian. However, recyclable organics is a constant, while recyclable material fluctuates in the case cities. Household consumption structure has a major impact on RWRP. Other factors, such as economic development, urban resident population, consumption preferences, local customs and culture, as well as residential lifestyles also affect RWRP. This study proposes three policies: 1) to establish flexible and carefully planned recycling strategies, 2) to develop the distribution market of composting products, and 3) to incorporate economic and demographic initiatives to develop a workable recycling policy that can lead to zero waste implementation in the future. The zero waste concept was further assessed by the authors’ review of 69 cities worldwide based on previous research. We compared past results with the three featured cities in this study and 35 other Chinese cities, thereby presenting a world view of zero waste potential. It is anticipated that representative cities’ RWRP quantification and policy implementations can be a model for municipal solid waste management and recycling policies in other Chinese cities, which will help them transition to zero waste cities and probably provide a model for cities worldwide.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Cleaner Production
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Cleaner Production. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Cleaner Production, 295, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.126358
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2100/2105
Subjects:
ID Code:
152426
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
05 Mar 2021 13:45
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
23 Jun 2021 04:22