The personnel are handling the wet garbage disposal equipment
■Photograph by Reporter Li Ying
■Text by Reporter Li Ying
News If we dump the kitchen waste, such as peels and leftovers, into the machine, organic fertilizer for plant growth and biodiesel that can be used as fuel will be produced a few hours later. Eating garbage but producing nourishment, the machine was recently installed in the wet garbage disposal chamber of Hebin Haoyuan Residential Quarters in Beizhan Sub-district. On April 2, 2019, the sub-district launched the first wet garbage disposal chamber in Jing'an District. The wet garbage from households will be immediately turned into things of value without leaving the quarters.
Wet garbage sorting and treatment: It will be handled on-site without going too far and in a centralized way
As it is the first pilot wet garbage disposal chamber, the neighborhood committee of Hebin Haoyuan Residential Quarters read the Residents’ Convention on Garbage Sorting on behalf of all house owners on the day of the launching ceremony, calling on all to actively follow the standard for garbage sorting and keep a beautiful environment for future generations. The person in charge of Beizhan Sub-district said that since garbage sorting was implemented, all types of garbage are specified, and nearly 15,000 barrels of wet garbage are classified annually, an increase of 267% year-on-year. Also, the garbage reduction rate has increased significantly year by year. Beizhan Sub-district has introduced harmless green wet waste disposal equipment that may turn garbage into resources to improve the capacity of handling wet garbage in residential areas, so as to establish a sorting and disposal system that processes garbage on-site without going too far and in a centralized way and reduce wet garbage from the source. Among the first pilot communities, Hebin Haoyuan has 208 households, with a high proportion of foreign ones. Many foreigners have joined in the voluntary team that promotes waste sorting since the launch of the standard in 2015. Sarah, a girl from Finland born in the 1990s, said that the Finnish people are accustomed to garbage sorting and for her it has long been part of daily life. She signed up as a member of the voluntary team after moving to Shanghai and finding out the standard was launched. She wanted to know more about how Shanghai would do it and also advocate the significance of waste sorting among the public.
Beizhan Sub-district worked with a social organization and made a design for Hebin Residential Quarters several years ago. In the high-priced quarters in the densely populated city center, a micro-space for recoverable matters was built as a demonstration for green life. In this space, residents would regularly hold meetings on waste sorting, exchange ideas, and share their tips about environmental protection as guided by the social organization. Ms. Chen said that since she took part in it, she has set up “rules” for her husband, son and daughter in-law at home. Each family member should distinguish dry garbage from wet. “Good habit of garbage sorting should be cultivated when one is a child.” Ms. Chen said that she would bring her granddaughter to every meeting, so that she would establish a sense of garbage sorting from a young age. The sub-district has made and distributed a waste sorting manual in both Chinese and English and small-sized dry and wet garbage bins, and notified every household. Each floor in the quarters is equipped with a dry garbage bin and a wet one. The residents would classify the garbage and place it outside without being forced to. The cleaners would then further classify the garbage to enhance its purity and put the wet garbage into the harmless disposal equipment in the quarters, which strives to build itself into a green, environmental-friendly, international, and ecological-friendly one.
Data speaks: Wet garbage down 85% in the quarters
According to preliminary investigations, about 200 kilograms of wet garbage was produced in Hebin Haoyuan Residential Quarters. Now, the on-site wet garbage disposal equipment along with the degradable bags are used to effectively address related problems, avoid secondary pollution, bring convenience to residents, and improve the enthusiasm of households for waste sorting. The reporter saw that the garbage disposal chamber in Hebin Residential Quarters was neat with a conspicuous sign on its façade “garbage sorting is new fashion.” The reporter approached the chamber and did not smell any odor. The chamber is divided into two areas, one for dry garbage, which will be sent away by truck, and the other for wet garbage where equipment for wet garbage disposal is placed. It is understood that compared with the large-scale centralized treatment of wet garbage, the on-site disposal method in Hebin Haoyuan that helps reduce garbage and turn it into resources enjoys obvious advantages: the site is small and flexible, and the implementation period short, with no need to purchase transportation vehicles, and labor and operating costs saved. According to the data of the pilot operation at the early stage, wet garbage in the quarters can be reduced by about 85% and the mixing rate of domestic garbage is only about 5%, with few waste oil (wet garbage in the quarters mainly includes kitchen waste like vegetable leaves).
Two hundred kilograms of wet garbage can be turned into resources in just a few hours
The wet garbage disposal equipment manufactured by Mingliu and introduced by Beizhan Sub-district is characterized by intelligent control and one-button automatic operation. It is simple and easy to operate. The equipment consists of six functional systems: feeding and weighing system, sorting and separation system, oil-water separation system, vacuum drying system, heat recovery and energy-saving system, and intelligent CNC system.
The technician demonstrated the entire wet garbage disposal process. The degradable garbage bag and the wet garbage were put into the equipment together. The sorting and separating system first cut off the bags (degradable recycle bags) and separated the liquid from the wet garbage. The oil-water separation system separated the oil from the sewage, and added some flavor to prevent the “ditch oil” from being re-used for food and ensure it can only be used as biodiesel, soap, etc. The remaining sewage, after the filtration, was then discharged into the septic tank or sewage pipe network. Clean wet garbage was sorted out, sent into the vacuum drying system for sterilization and drying, and processed into additives to the animal food or soil ameliorant. The ameliorant will be used in the green belts in the quarters, and the 200 kilograms of wet waste was thus turned into resources in a few hours.
The cleaners in the quarters will start to operate this equipment after training. The equipment is also networked with the technology company. In case of failure, the technology company will send an engineer to the quarters immediately to ensure steady operation of the wet waste disposal in the quarters. Besides, the automatic feeding and weighing system for wet garbage can send the data to the Internet of Things in real time for monitoring and management and to realize data collection and remote monitoring.
Wet garbage stays within the quarters, and recycle bags are “degradable”
Currently, dry garbage from the quarters is directly sent away by truck, and wet garbage is processed on-site without leaving the quarters and turned into nourishment for plants, which have been widely acclaimed by residents of the quarters. Cheng Baozhen, a resident in Hebin, told the reporter: “I was touched in the visit to Songjiang Garbage Dump organized by our neighborhood committee. To keep urban residential quarters clean and beautiful is urgent. The responsibility for waste sorting and the future of the city where we live lie with every citizen. Waste sorting was started in the quarters in 2015, and most residents have already got used to it. We are all pleased to see that wet garbage is turned into certain resources without being sent away, because we feel our hard work pays off."
According to Zhao Jun, property manager of Hebin Quarters, “Degradable recycles bags are now used, which have solved the most difficult problem facing the property management department. Cleaners in our quarters had to pick out the plastic bags from the garbage wearing five masks previously. It was very hard. The degradable bags are cheap, each costing about 0.1 yuan. Now the government provides the bags free of charge. It will not be a burden if we are required to buy them on our expense. The bags should be greatly promoted. Now there is a person in charge of the wet garbage disposal chamber, so sanitation is guaranteed. I was afraid the products might smell bag. However, there is no odor or just a slight smell of fried melon seeds after the processing.
In addition, Beizhan Sub-district has vigorously worked with Internet companies to promote the construction of the service stations with “integration of two networks,” so as to increase the number of intelligent garbage sorting and recycling facilities, improve the intensive recycling and utilizing rate of renewable resources in the quarters, and properly handle the toxic and harmful waste from the quarters. Ms. Wang took out her mobile phone and scanned the code before throwing away an empty bottle, so that she could exchange it for credits. The credits can be cashed out, a kind of convenience and benefits for residents backing garbage sorting.