Urban and Rural Municipal Solid Waste in China and the Circular Economy: A Brief Overview and Opportunities Going Forward
Solid Waste Management, China
April 8, 2019
The World Bank
This paper lists several opportunities for China to advance MSW policies and practices. In addition to building on lessons learned from countries with decades of experience in implementing separation at source programs, including lessons on dealing with the informal sector, China’s extended responsibility systems (EPR) for different waste streams including packaging waste could be tested locally and if successful, could then be prioritized. EPR schemes could be used to introduce incentives for eco-design, create a sustainable production and consumption pattern, reduce landfilling and develop recycling and recovery channels. China could also more comprehensively test the regional approach for service delivery especially for underserved county and rural areas.
There is an opportunity to deepen urban-rural integration enhance economies of scale, and improve efficiency through regional integration in waste service provision. This would not only improve the quality of service provision but support financial sustainability and help offset some of the increased financial costs for circularity. Ensuring sustainable operational financing is important to provide for public-private partnerships, a stated priority of the government; sustain earlier and current investments; and permit future development of facilities.