Joint Effort for A Clean Urban Environment — GIZ supported CAUES during the China Environmental Sanitation Expo 2019

December 18, 2019

From November 12th to 14th, China Environmental Sanitation Expo 2019 was  held in Chongqing,  which was organized by China Association of Urban Environmental Sanitation (CAUES) and supported Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, focusing on the issues of urban environment, smart sanitation and waste classification in China. As a leading conference in the field of urban environmental protection, the two-day conference attracted more than one thousand participants, including government officials, experts from academia and private sector. The discussion covered a broad range of issues from urban environment, smart sanitation and waste classification in China to the technical solutions for waste treatment and sustainable development of Chinese municipalities.

(Conference. Photo by GIZ)

On November 13, Dr. Liu Xiao, Senior Technical Advisor of GIZ, introduced the current situation and the legal framework regulating solid waste management in Germany. Challenges and achievements of the country were also discussed in detail. Thus, according to the official figures released by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Germany is one of the world leaders in waste recovery with a total rate of 81% as of 2018 (share of material recovery is 69%). At the same time, solid waste management in Germany still faces challenges in terms of 1 – growing waste amounts (especially in terms of packaging waste), 2 – plastic contamination of specific waste streams (e.g. microplastics in biowaste and compost) and 3 – scale of application of recyclables as secondary raw materials.

 (LIU Xiao, Senior Technical Consultant of GIZ, introduced the current situation in municipal solid waste management in Germany. Photo by GIZ)

On the following day, Mr. Liu Yuqiang, Associate Researcher of the Chinese Academy of Environmental Sciences, raised attention to the need to review the current “Pollution Control Standards for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills”, which had been jointly issued by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the General Administration of Quality, Supervision Inspection and Quarantine in April 2008. Given that since then the requirements to waste management in China have increased significantly, the standard needs a stronger focus on pollution control during the landfill design, construction and operation stages, including technical issues such as membrane protection and integrity assessment, leachate co-disposal, landfill odor control, methane emissions control and reduction. The latter is especially important in a view of the national aim to mitigate GHG emissions.

 (Liu Yuqiang, Associate Researcher at the Chinese Academy of Environmental Sciences, introduced the status quo of landfill operation & management in China. Photo by GIZ)

Apart from thought-provoking exchanges and discussions, reports including “Germany’s Waste Management Policy Development, “Wasteaware Benchmark Indicators for Integrated Sustainable Waste Management in Chinese Cities and “Digestate Quality Control of Organic Waste from MSWwere released jointly by GIZ and CAUES. A translation of the German Biowaste Ordinance (BioAbfV) was also presented to the conference attendees to provide a reference for the revision and modification of the relevant laws and regulations in China.

Overall, by sharing international experiences while also analyzing the local situation, the event provided a strong basis for further development of policy recommendations and promotion of technical innovations that would be relevant, applicable and feasible for waste management in Chinese cities.

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