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Renewable resources recycling to enter “intelligent age”
2019-01-06Text Size: A A A

On November 3, 2018, a set of impressive intelligent recycling boxes were installed at the Xinghe International Garden of the Ningcheng Community of the Fuming Street of Yinzhou District, attracting much attention from the local residents. After scanning the QR code and downloading the “landing a hand” recycling APP, a resident then clicked the block of “I want to sell”, then a window of the intelligent boxes opened. She put a pile of old newspapers inside the window, then the weight and price of the newspaper appeared on her phone. When the window closed, she received a message: Congratulations for completing a recycling transaction and you get 1.18 yuan as resource currency.

This is the first set of intelligent recycling boxes launched in the urban are of Ningbo, as well as the first intelligent Internet of Things + Internet recycling facility in Ningbo.

11 days later, at the Ivy Community of the Minglou Street of Yinzhou District, the “yellow dog” intelligent waste classification and recycling system was put into use, and this is the first time for the “yellow dog” system to be launched in the urban area of Ningbo. “Clicking directly the type of waste you want to deliver and the corresponding delivery window will be open. Then you can put the waste in, and the intelligent recycling machine will automatically weigh the waste and present the ‘environmental money’ of the waste before the sum is transferred to you Wechat Wallet or bank card.” A member of the working staff explained at the scene to the residents gathered.  

On December 15, Zheng Shanjie, Deputy-secretary of Zhejiang Provincial Party Committee and Secretary of Ningbo Municipal Party Committee, inspected the waste classification work of the Business Street of the Old Bund Community, together with some NPC Deputies at all levels. He hoped that more market forces would take part in the waste classification work and improve its market-oriented, professional and intelligent level.

Transformation from traditional waste collection model to new intelligent, market-oriented model

The “lending a hand” system, developed by a local enterprise, has so far launched over 50 sets of intelligent recycling boxes in the urban area of Ningbo (not including the temporary waste deposit spots and the moving recycling stations). At the Shuixie Huaduyuan Community of Jiangshan Town of Yinzhou District, the enterprise installed a set of “manual + intelligent” resource station converted by some containers, and built eight special rooms for resource recycling in other communities of the town. Besides the fixed intelligent recycling boxes, resource recycling stations and resource recycling rooms, there is still the moving vehicle model to recycle the large furniture and plastic and electric products regularly in different towns or townships. This urban-rural integrated recycling service is the first multi-solution intelligent recycling system in China.

The waste collected with the above four recycling models will then be sent to the sorting center for renewable resources at the Jiangshan Town. Built our of containers, the sorting center, tidy and clean, covers and area of over 6,400 square meters, with a daily recycling capacity of 50 tons. After two months’ pilot, the center has processed over 30 tons of large-scale waste and its appointment service is very well received.

“This model of waste recycling can reduce the waste from source and eliminate the secondary pollution by the traditional waste piling or decomposition.” said the Deputy-secretary of the Jiangshan Town Party Committee. To support the construction of the sorting center for renewable resources, the town has supplied 10 mu of land to the “lending a hand” system. So far, the recycling area has covered 16 residential communities, providing services for over 100,000 regular residents.  

According to the General Manager of the administration center of the “lending a hand” company, the company has established a whole-industry chain network system driven by such frontier software and hardware technologies as the intelligent logistics technology depending on modern new energy, the Internet technology, and the intelligent AI recycling equipment based on Internet of Things, and integrating waste collecting staff, community recycling service spots, sorting and intermediate centers and comprehensive transaction information centers.

On November 8, 2018, when conducting an inspection in Ningbo, the delegates from the World Bank inspected the “lending a hand” intelligent recycling station at the Shuian Xinjing Community of Haishu District and spoke highly of the intelligent construction of the recycling system for renewable resources in Ningbo. Then on November 16, Deputy Director of the municipal People’s Congress led a field inspection to the recycling project, and he hoped that the project could be accelerated and then provide services for the waste classification and resource recycling work of the whole city.  

The “yellow dog” system, introduced from Guangdong Province, aims to improve the domestic waste collection and solve the problems of urban waste classification and resource recycling by taking advantage of the online and offline intelligent waste classification and recycling equipment and platforms and such modern means of artificial intelligence, Internet and big data. As is reportedly, the system will launch one set of intelligent waste classification and recycling machine for 500 to 1,000 households on average, providing paid recycling for waste plastics, waste paper, waste textiles, waste glass and waste metal.

Both “lending a hand” and “yellow dog” are intelligent systems, with one being an enterprise specializing in the recycling and treatment of renewable resources with intelligent equipment and Internet, with the focus on resource recycling and large-scale waste discharge, and the other being an Internet technology enterprise specializing in the intelligent equipment and Internet financial innovation. Both companies aim to transform the traditional waste collecting model with the intelligent and information innovation, leading to a deep revolution of the recycling and utilization of renewable resources.

Fast spreading of intelligent model of recycling

Is this new model of intelligent recycling popular among the local citizens?

Before the “lending a hand” system was installed at the Xinghe International Garden, the Party Committee of the Ningcheng Community conducted the waste classification publicity and on-the-spot instruction. Over the month after the intelligent recycling machine was installed, it received 2217.96 kilograms of paper, 261.47 kilograms of textile, 181.63 kilograms of plastics, and 90.69 kilograms of glass, demonstrating the high participation enthusiasm of the residents.  

According to the background data of the “lending a hand” system, by December 4, 2018, the largest collection amount of waste paper went to the Xinghe International Garden, standing at 2217.96 kilograms; that of waste textile went to the 3rd phase of the Fuming Community, standing at 809.66 kilograms; both those of waste plastic and waste glass went to the Shuian Xinjing Community, standing at 329.17 kilograms and 99.15 kilograms respectively; and the largest number of beverage bottles went to the Dongfang Ruishi Community, standing at 324.

In fact, what matters most is not the data but the contribution the system have made to the reduction, resource transformation and harmless treatment of the waste classification work of Ningbo. So far, “lending a hand” system has reduced 67.87 tons of waste for Ningbo, with 12,509 deliveries from the local residents.

According to a person in charge from the neighborhood committee of the Ivy Community, upon the installation of the “yellow dog” intelligent waste classification and recycling machine at the community, the committee immediately posted the message in its Wechat moment and then attracted a lot of residents. The teachers of the community kindergarten led the children to the machine to learn how to classify and deliver the waste, playing a very good demonstration and education role for the waste classification work.

Half of the “lending a hand” resource recycling station at the Shuixie Huaduyuan Community of the Jiangshan Town is intelligent and half is manual. The staff work from 8 am to 11am and from 1pm to 5pm at the station to help those who cannot use the smart mobile phones to delivery the renewable resources on the machine and instruct those who use the machine for the first time.

A survey shows that the intelligent recycling model is popular among the majority of the residents. According to a resident of the Xinghe International Garden, in the past, the waste collectors used to enter the community and shout loudly to attract attention, which was both noisy and a potential safety hazard. With the installation of the intelligent recycling machine, this is no longer a problem, and some waste can be recycled and reused. The residents can also sell the disused items on the machine, which brings great convenience to their life.

Of course, some senior citizens still think that it is somewhat troublesome to use the machine and the price for recycling is lower than that of the waste collectors. For some communities, the property management companies may refuse the introduction of the intelligent recycling machines for some reasons.

Reportedly, the installation cost of a set of intelligent recycling boxes stands at 30,000 to 40,000 yuan, and there are still such fees for electricity, maintenance, background operation staff and transport. Can it be profitable to earn the price difference for the waste?

The goals of the “lending a hand” system are to enhance the recycling and utilization efficiency of the renewable resources, promote the waste classification, improve the city image, reduce the secondary pollution and improve people’s livelihood. As the added value of the waste glass and large-scale furniture is too low, the company will not emphasize the profit at the beginning stage but focus on public service.

The “lending a hand” project has been identified as a demonstration project for the domestic waste classification work of Ningbo by Ningbo Administration Office of Domestic Waste Classification, and is now spreading to such areas as Haishu District, Yinzhou District, Jiangbei District, Zhenhai District and Beilun District. In the following three years, the company plans to invest 300 million yuan in the construction of over 5,000 front-end recycling service stations, as well as the specialized sorting centers and processing and utilizing projects for renewable resources in different districts, including the transport and treatment of large waste and construction waste, building the whole ecological chain system for the recycling and utilization of the renewable resources.

Since April 2018, when the “yellow dog” intelligent recycling machines were initially installed at the communities of such cities as Dongguan, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the system has been launched in Chongqing (over 1,000 sets), Beijing (over 800 sets), Dongguan (over 600 sets) and Guangzhou (over 500 sets). So far, the “yellow dog” system has been launched in 30 cities with over 6,000 sets.

Since it was introduced to Ningbo on November 14, 2018, about 30 sets of “yellow dog” intelligent recycling boxes have been installed. The “yellow dog” plan is being accelerated in the six urban districts of Ningbo at the speed of 100 to 200 sets per month, and it is expected that the total number will reach 2,000 to 3,000 sets, covering most of the communities of Ningbo. Currently, the construction of the sorting center for recycling of the system is being planned in Ningbo.


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