Shenzhen – recycling center

14 Aug

After my weekend in Hong Kong, I had to head back through Shenzhen for another couple of days of meetings.  One evening when taking a walk to a nearby restaurant I noticed that there was a lot of trash next to the road.

Upon closer observation the trash had been neatly sorted and was next to a garbage truck.  I took a couple of photos.  The man that you can see started to wave me off as he realized what I was doing.  I went to dinner thinking about why there was so much trash on the road.  Coming back a different way I saw another truck and this one had a scale next to it.  I think that it is a place where trash collectors come to sell recyclable goods.

The next evening in the same place, another truck and another collection of recyclables.  I found it an interesting part of Shenzhen – and my hotel was in a pretty ritzy area in Futian district.  It also caused me to think about what happens to trash and recyclables in Shanghai.  It is common to see a tricycle overflowing with cardboard, wood pieces, plastic bottles, styrofoam or other products but I have never seen a transaction take place or know the value of the items.

Sometimes travel gives me new insights on where I live and how I affect the world.  Seeing that trash on the curb did that on this business trip.  Have you had an experience like that when you travel?

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11 Responses to “Shenzhen – recycling center”

  1. expatlingo August 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    I love that you posted that guy’s picture (even though he wasn’t comfortable with you taking pics!).

    • gkm2011 August 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      That does go back to your post earlier, doesn’t it! I only took the one, it was all I could handle. 🙂

  2. Kristin August 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    Huh! I have been thinking about the recycling issue for quite a while. Here, recycling is very new and not very common. They install some recycling containers – and the next day they are gone. People just have to throw everything into the normal garbage which always gives me a mild headache, but what can you do?
    Somebody told me she gave her cans to the garbage truck people, apparently they know where to sell them, but so far, I have been too shy to approach them – I am just not used to offering trash! Recently, I read that there was a new recycling facility close to where I live and I kept browsing the area without detecting it. Yesterday, though, I BELIEVE I caught a glimpse of it: 2 containers where people throw in all kinds of stuff. I still have to check it out and see whether it is real recycling…

    • gkm2011 August 15, 2012 at 7:12 am #

      Good luck! For my own garbage, I think that the maintenance people separate them – and you’re always seeing people collecting plastic bottle and cardboard, etc. I haven’t yet figured out a “proper” recycling center either.

  3. sarahinguangzhou August 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    Yes when I first came to China it made me very uncomfortable thinking that someone was going through my rubbish; I prefer that my rubbish is private I don’t want someone knowing how many bottles of cola I get through in a day or what I buy and throw away. I got used to it though. In the end I’d separate up the bottles and paper for them, because I felt guilty it was such an unpleasant way for them to make a living.

    • gkm2011 August 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      I know – but regular recycling is nothing – the folks who recycle the electronics – that is really unpleasant. Thanks for the comment.

  4. TBM August 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    I haven’t sen this, but I find it fascinating. China is on my list of places I’m dying to see. So much history, culture, and beautiful landscape.

    • gkm2011 August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

      It is a great country to visit – but best with a guide if you don’t speak mandarin. It’s kind of like an onion – so many layers as you start to see deeper.

      • TBM August 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

        I like that…like an onion. I’ll keep the guide tip in mind. Thanks!

  5. szilviahc August 28, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    There are many recycling bins in the parks here in Shenzhen, which is not a common place on normal streets. Does anyone know where trash or recycling end up?

    • gkm2011 August 28, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

      I am not sure, but on a recent trip to a small town out of Shanghai we passed truck after truck piled with different types of recyclable goods. I guess they are sold to factories or recycling plants for future use.

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