WASHINGTON, D.C., May 31, 2013 – Today the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a loan of US$80 million to the People’s Republic of China to help improve municipal solid waste management in Ningbo City with a particular focus on waste separation at source and recycling, benefiting about 3 million people.
With rapid urbanization and urban residents accounting for more than half of the total population, China is experiencing rapid increase in solid waste generation and growing pressure for solid waste management in cities. The quantity of municipal solid waste collected and transported surged from about 31 million tons in 1980 to 157 million tons in 2009, and is projected to reach 585 million tons in 2030.
As it is increasingly difficult to build more landfills and incineration facilities due to land scarcity and public concern, China has been exploring alternative approaches for solid waste management, including waste separation and recycling. However, the challenges to waste separation in Chinese cities include a lack of:
- adequate facilities for distinct transport, sorting and recycling;
- effective regulatory and policy instruments including financial incentive tools for waste minimization and recycling, and
- public awareness and participation in waste separation at source.
“The Ningbo project aims to help address these challenges through development of a comprehensive municipal solid waste recycling system, which will be able to handle separated waste from source separation in households to separated transportation and transfer, and sorting and recycling,” said Xie Jian, World Bank Senior Environmental Specialist. “In addition to innovative infrastructure investments, the project is about behavioral change through mass public mobilization. For this purpose, the project design includes an innovative output-based neighborhood incentive payments system.”
The Ningbo Municipal Solid Waste Minimization and Recycling Project will strengthen the waste management system in six urban districts in Ningbo City for residential and public place waste separation, waste storage, collection, transfer and sorting, and finance construction of a treatment plant to process kitchen waste from household and markets.
In addition, a citywide program for public awareness-raising, community mobilization and public education will be developed to promote waste separation. Incentive payments will be provided to neighborhood residents committees based on the assessment of the quantity and quality of waste separated at source. A subsidy will also be offered to restaurants that install and operate oil-water separators. The World Bank will also give advisory and technical support to Ningbo city on the development of rules and regulations for solid waste separation, a municipal solid waste pricing policy, and a solid waste information management system.
“The Ningbo project is a brand new type of solid waste management project supported by the World Bank, featuring waste source separation at the household level and recycling. The project is expected to have a demonstration effect. Once it is successful in Ningbo, many Chinese cities, at least those on the east coast, can follow the example. In ten years, we should be able to see a big impact on transforming municipal solid waste management from a traditional to modern system in China,” said Mark Lundell, World Bank Sector Manager for the Sustainable Development Department for China and Mongolia.
The total project cost is US$246.16 million, with US$80 million be financed by the IBRD loan.