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WEBINAR: China Cleantech Market Opportunities

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Snapshot: Opportunities in China’s Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling Industry

The restructuring of China’s waste and recycling industry is progressing rapidly, the effort of the government at all levels continue to increase. The current trash-sorting program, followed by the pilot project of waste-free cities make this clear. The Chinese waste management is getting to a turning point.

Current Market Driver
In January 2019, Shanghai’s legislator passed a municipal regulation on domestic waste management, believed by leading experts as the milestone in China’s recycling revolution and the long march towards a zero waste society. In April 2019, the central government issued a work plan for sorting domestic garbage which has further impacted the industry development. Key points include:

  • By the end of 2020, 46 major cities should complete the systems for waste sorting;
  • By the end of 2025, 300 more cities should complete the construction of waste sorting systems

Also in 2019, the Chinese State Council unveiled the “no-waste city” pilot plan, aiming to minimize generation of waste, maximize its utilization, safely dispose of solid waste and reduce landfills. The timelines are set out:

  • By June 2020, ten pilot cities are to standardize and improve the various data collection standards;
  • By 2020, the plan is to establish the index system for zero-waste cities, and institutional and technical system for the management of such cities.

Market Statistics
On the way to constructing the zero-waste cities in China, kitchen and hazardous are two of the fastest-growing segments of the solid waste treatment and recycling industry.

  • China’s solid waste treatment and recycling market has a RMB1000 billion (CA$200B) space for new investment;
  • By 2020, the kitchen waste treatment market will reach RMB150 billion (CA$30B);
  • By 2020, the hazardous waste market will reach RMB200 billion (CA$40B)

Industry Trend

  • Integrated waste management: instead of working with multiple companies to safely handle different types of wastes, project owners with responsibility for sorting and treating waste often prefer to have contracts with a single service provider that can provide an integrated waste management solution;
  • Technology Scalability: efficient waste disposal solutions are driven by advanced technology. However, companies will have to consider if their technology and operating model is sufficiently scalable to treat waste volumes in China. It is generally considered a minimum for a dedicated facility to treat 50 tons of waste per day.

Business Opportunities
The trash-sorting program and the zero-waste project have created a social consensus on supporting businesses related to environmental protection in China, and this helps the industry grow in the long term. The upgrade of waste treatment facilities will push the growth, and new technologies in waste processing will receive more attention.
Effective solutions for kitchen waste disposal and hazardous waste, especially e-waste and medical waste are in need in the process of constructing zero-waste cities.


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