A "waste-free factory" in the Jinma Industrial Park in Lin'an District, Hangzhou, has photovoltaic power generation equipment installed on the roof. In recent years, the local government has actively promoted the upgrading and transformation of enterprises in the jurisdiction, deepened the comprehensive utilization of solid waste, and helped create a "waste-free city".

Recently, many places have issued implementation plans to actively promote the construction of "waste-free cities". In February, Jilin Province issued the "Jilin Province "2th Five-Year Plan" period "Waste-free City" Construction Plan, announcing the full launch of the construction of "Waste-free City" in Jilin Province. The Department of Ecology and Environment of Henan Province and other departments jointly issued the "Work Plan for the Construction of "Waste-free Cities" in Henan Province during the 2025th Five-Year Plan Period, specifying that by 6, 3 regions will meet the national requirements for the construction of "waste-free cities". On March 2, Chongqing held a press conference to interpret the "Implementation Plan for the Construction of a "Waste-free City" during Chongqing's "<>th Five-Year Plan", and clarified the construction goals of the "Waste-free City" in the whole region... What is a "waste-free city"? Why are many places actively promoting the construction of "waste-free cities"? How big is the market space?

What is the point of construction

"No waste" does not mean that there is no solid waste generation, but by promoting the formation of green development methods and lifestyles, and continuously promoting the source reduction and resource utilization of solid waste. Xiao Tao, a researcher at the Institute of Urban Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the essence of "waste-free cities" is to reduce the source of urban solid waste and resource utilization as the starting point, minimize the environmental impact of solid waste, and finally form a new policy of urban green development mode, which is a model with Chinese characteristics to explore sustainable urban development based on the strategy of ecological civilization.

In recent years, the construction of "waste-free cities" has become an important starting point for solid waste management in China. In 2018, the General Office of the State Council issued the "Pilot Work Plan for the Construction of "Waste-free Cities" and the "Indicator System for the Construction of "Waste-free Cities". In 2019, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment identified the "11+5" pilot. In 2022, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced the list of "waste-free cities" during the <>th Five-Year Plan period. The construction of "waste-free cities" has become an important topic and construction focus in the new era.

What benefits can local governments actively promote the construction of "waste-free cities" bring to cities? Xiao Tao said that the construction of a "waste-free city" will significantly improve the ecological environment of the city and its surroundings. Because solid waste is a high-density source of pollution, it not only pollutes the soil, but also has a negative impact on the atmosphere, water and human health in the long run. With the construction of "waste-free city", benign interaction will be formed between urban industry, consumption and terminal treatment, as well as the surrounding geographical ecological environment, promote efficient, recycling, intensive and eco-friendly technological innovation, and radiate the production, life and ecology-related fields of the city, giving birth to new green industries. In the process of promoting the construction of "waste-free cities", it will also help to achieve urban carbon emission reduction and promote the "dual carbon" strategy.

In addition, experts said that promoting the construction of a "waste-free city" will also help the application of smart city technology, carry out information management of the whole process of solid waste generation, transfer, and treatment, and ultimately improve the modern management level of the entire city.

How to promote effectively

When it comes to garbage dumps, most people think of the scene as pungent smell and dirty. The sustainable resource recovery station in Shuangjing Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing, is a different story. There is not only a four-color science popularization corridor, but also a community public service space "Well Point No. 2" that integrates renewable resource recycling and community culture derivative functions to help citizens cultivate garbage sorting habits, and these facilities are used to provide residents with intelligent garbage recycling services, and at the same time promote cultural content related to ecological civilization and environmental protection education to residents.

Liu Wei, deputy director of the Shuangjing Subdistrict Office, told reporters that in order to build a "waste-free city", the Beijing Municipal Domestic Waste Management Regulations were introduced and implemented in 2020. The street promotes the development of garbage sorting in the jurisdiction through third-party service units. At present, the separation rate of kitchen waste has increased from 3% before the implementation of the Regulations to about 18%. Through third-party service units, the street has built 18 domestic waste sorting stations for 8 communities in its jurisdiction, and at the same time integrated regional resources and set up 7 renewable resource flow recycling points for use. In order to solve the problem of large-scale recycling, the street also signed relevant agreements with third parties to establish at least one temporary storage point for large-scale garbage in each community, and removed and transported more than 1 vehicles of bulky garbage.

In addition, in order to ensure that various categories of garbage are collected, traced and clear, the street urges the property to sign contracts for the removal and transportation of various types of garbage; For hazardous waste in the jurisdiction, cooperate with the Chaoyang District Sanitation Center to establish a temporary storage point for hazardous waste in the jurisdiction, and uniformly recycle the hazardous waste that is difficult to deal with in the jurisdiction, such as lamps and toner cartridges. Statistics show that since 2019, 2.453 tons of paper, 9.74 tons of fabric, 3 tons of metal, 13.54 tons of plastic, and 9 pieces of waste electronic appliances have been recycled in "Well Point No. 406" alone, which is equivalent to reducing the felling of 9956,1373 trees, reducing carbon emissions by 760,2512 tons, saving <> tons of oil extraction and saving <>,<> cubic meters of landfill land.

The prevention and control of solid waste pollution is linked to pollution reduction and carbon reduction. The person in charge of the Department of Solid Waste and Chemicals of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said that China's solid waste environmental pollution situation is grim, the task of treatment is arduous, and the governance requirements are high. Practice shows that the construction of "waste-free city" is not only a comprehensive way to systematically solve the problem of solid waste, but also an effective carrier to promote the green and low-carbon development of cities.

What opportunities it brings

The construction of "waste-free city" not only brings changes to the ecological environment, but also brings huge development space to the solid waste treatment market. In the face of the vast market, many companies have been geared up.

Infore Environment is an environmental service enterprise with a lot of layout in the field of solid waste treatment. The relevant person in charge of the company said that the company cooperates with relevant government departments by providing market-oriented services and consulting to undertake regional garbage classification collection, classified transportation tasks, and help achieve the goal of source reduction of solid waste. In terms of solid waste recycling and harmlessness, enterprises focus on food waste, directly or indirectly providing an annual treatment capacity of nearly 113.<> million tons for the national food waste resource and harmless treatment.

However, for some enterprises, the profit effect of related projects is still not obvious. According to industry insiders, from the perspective of the entire solid waste treatment industry, technical and financial barriers are high, the number of solid waste treatment enterprises is large, but the scale is generally not large, and the unified technical standards and giant monopoly of the industry have not yet been formed. Therefore, the market share is relatively scattered, and the overall industrialization level and market concentration degree are low.

Xiao Tao told reporters: "The construction of a 'waste-free city' is aimed at the whole life cycle of urban solid waste. The market benefits and costs of individual stages of the solid waste management process, such as collection, operation and disposal, are different. Therefore, ecological compensation or full-cycle management can be adopted to balance the economic benefits brought by the reuse of solid waste resources and the consumption of green renewable products in the market. ”

Experts said that the profit model of enterprises cannot only focus on a single industrial, agricultural or commodity consumption link, but needs to be integrated from a more macro and systematic pattern to seek greater market value. In the future, the construction of "waste-free city" is expected to become another powerful engine for the development of the solid waste industry, bringing unlimited business opportunities to the environmental protection industry.

Du Xiangwan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that the potential and potential benefits of building a "waste-free city" are huge, and it is expected that by 2030, the output value of China's solid waste classification and resource utilization will reach 7 trillion yuan to 8 trillion yuan. A number of experts and scholars interviewed said that overall, as a long-term exploration process, the promotion of China's "dual carbon" strategy has accelerated the construction of "waste-free cities", and "waste-free cities" are also becoming the symbol of local green economy and circular economy.