Harmonious City and Green Homeland
———Municipal Waste is in Urgency
Being harmonious and modest with nature was regarded as the supreme credo and virtue by ancient Chinese sages. What a state! When we, the urbanites, were flung into the abyss of pollution by the modern industrial civilization, it’s time for us to be
in deep thinking about the future of city and appreciate spark of the ancient wisdom. If any city desires to win the long-term development, it cannot neglect its environmental protection especially the disposal of municipal waste.
As a matter of fact, our city has been surrounded with wastes. It is not sensationalism at all. According to report, every day, over 7,000 tons of municipal solid wastes were produced in Shanghai and piled up at 200 dumpsites indisposed which causes malignant and adverse effect on the comprehensive municipal environment (*). For years, such reports make frequent headlines’ news on newspaper,
television and radio broadcast. Anyhow, it should not only be the responsibility of the administration, environmental protection organization or waste disposal factory, but also the responsibility of us, every member of this city. If, one day the city we dwell in is stuffed with various kinds of unbridled wastes and we cannot breathe fresh air, drink clean water or plant on fertile soil, the disaster in Silent Spring written by
Rachael Carson is imminent.
No doubt waste disposal is closely tied to the urban sustained development and every person’s well-being. Every resident has his or her share in these 7,000 tons wastes and surely we all have the responsibilities to take action to solve the municipal waste pollution. In my opinion, we can look at the issue according to some facts below:
Firstly, recycling and reuse
The more people reduce the consumption and reuse the products, the less wastes will be generated. Actually, the relative abundance does not endow us with the right to live a luxurious life, because the shortage of energy is always the restriction for China’s further development. Thrift and repairing, the glorious tradition of Chinese nation, playing an important role in today’s environmental protection, should be
inherited and popularized widely. My friends, please imagine, nowadays how many people would change ballpoint tube instead of buying a total new one after finishing consuming the ballpoint pen? Please imagine nowadays how many around us are constantly buying new mobile phones and upgrading the PC under the lure to search for fashion and high technology? See before you leap. Ask yourself whether you really need this product before buying it. The spirit of environmental protection is not
only embodied in speech, slogan but daily trivial things as well. I think the strengthening of the propaganda and the mind education of the youngsters under the collaboration of schools, families and community media is critical. In addition, the formation of the social green consumption concept also needs the full support of the companies, that is to say, less once-used products, more recycled and cleaning products so as to create green commercial atmosphere as a way to seek solution to the municipal waste pollution.
Secondly, consolidated efforts for household waste sorting in neighborhoods
Waste sorting serves as the vital premise for the quality of waste disposal in the latter period. Given the fact that some neighborhoods still adopt the conventional way of dumping wastes, what about those neighborhoods adopting the waste sorting, what about the real status quo? Take for example of the neighborhoods I live in, there exist two major common problems: one is that some residents feel troubled and don’t sort
out the wastes at all. The other problem is even if more people are willing to sort out the wastes, but they have no idea about how to sort out them exactly. As for the previous problem, it’s urgent for us to promote the residents’ personal environmental
awareness. I think, first of all, we should strengthen the community media propaganda on waste sorting to help them establish firm environmental protection concept and social morality. Secondly, as a volunteering behavior, waste sorting should be included as the legislative item the sooner the better in order to convert the behavior from “ I’d like to” to “ I must”. As for the latter problem, the administration and the
neighborhood supervising body should not have only handed the sorting manual out but also need to implement the work called “ manual handed, poster pasted and
explanation made”. We need to paste up the poster prominently on the walls of each residential building’s while also hold the related lecture or arrange the volunteers to explain the detail of waste sorting for people. If necessary, Sorting Knowledge Competition could be held as a way to acquaint people with the sorting techniques and promote their active involvement as well. Only by implementing the work in detail can the sorting waste bin be made full use of. Additionally, from my point of view, the placement of the bins requires flexibility, for instance, organic waste, with its characteristics of frequent generation and easier to be putrid, should be allocated more bins than any other waste. We can place one bin in front of every neighborhood’s building. Here, I also want to mention the potential environmental protectors, the aged people in the neighborhoods, who are so free that they are eager to be engaged. They can participate in the propaganda of waste sorting and even do the family waste sorting instead of their hustle and bustle adult children.
Thirdly, adopting the macro-management and the regulation
Macro-management here refers to the consistence of educational propaganda, policy guiding, financial support, regulated disposal and the introduction of investment and advanced technology. All of these aspects interact and collaborate
with each other so as to promote the citizens’ personal environmental quality, to
encourage corporations’ environmental investment fever and to strengthen the
administration’s management responsibility. All the endeavors above should be made together to help solve the waste pollution in Shanghai. Moreover, sound laws and strict regulations also play an indispensable role in the disposal of municipal wastes. Any uncivilized behaviors will be punished. Furthermore, I think, laws should stipulate the necessity of sorting waste behavior and the levy of waste disposal tax, which make the citizen shoulder the responsibilities for the waste they produce. We cannot deny the fact that the implementation of these laws will do good to the reduction of wastes in its origin. Meanwhile, the legislature should also levy the Green Tax to discourage the production of unreyclable goods and the use of unnecessary packaging. No one would appreciate the municipal image of Singapore 60 years ago. It’s the sound laws and strict regulation system that crown Singapore as the Garden City. Then, why do we still turn a blind eye to the truth even now?
City is our homeland. How could we bear the endless wastes everywhere and horrified pollution havoc and deprived right to enjoy the blue sky, crystal river and the charming city full of vitality? How could we allow the arrival of Silent Spring without
any realization or resistance?
To our gratification, during the past four years, the proportion of the investment on environmental protection keeps hovers around 3% of the city’s GDP. (*) Likewise,
environment improvement in Shanghai is also approved by such international organizations as the World Bank and Global Environment Fund etc., in terms of financial loans. And we did make great progress in recent years. According to the blueprint of Shanghai municipal government, Shanghai will have achieved zero growth in its household wastes at the end of 2010.
Gahdi said: “If you want to change the world, put yourself in this change first”.
Environmental protection is not a slogan or for show. It requires every social member’s persistent practical engagement and starting from the trivial things. Only by doing so can we reclaim our harmonious city and green homeland!
Work Credits (*)