Recycled Waste in Shanghai: Where it goes

For our regular readers, you will know that we have been spending last several months looking deep into how waste is managed in China, with a specific focus on how recycled waste is collected, sorted, and processed in Shanghai. This is driven in part by the belief that Shanghai has, and will, serve as a model for city development in China going forward. It is a city that not only has experience…

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Waste in Shanghai: Rising Pressures for the Informal System

China's waste management system is feeling the heat. Over the past few months, scandals from illegal dumping to capacity reaches of major landfills have exposed the complexities of Shanghai’s waste stream –and the challenges that exist in controlling its management. These issues are not unique to Shanghai – they represent broader trends and issues of consumption growth in many of China’s cit…

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Informal Waste Collection in China: A People-Powered Economy

China's waste collection and management system has recently captured public attention. Much of that attention has focused on negative incidents – such as dumping scandals in Shanghai and Wuxi – or uncertainty about the future of waste treatment, with expected landfill closures in Shanghai for 2017. But how much do you really know about waste beyond the headlines? Collective's work on waste i…

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Supply Chain Sustainability: The Bestway to Put Theory Into Practice

SUSTAINABILITY: THEORY VS. REALITY When discussing sustainable business, ideas that make "big-picture" environmental sense on paper may or may not translate well into day-to-day practice. What may seem more efficient in the long-term is not always conducive to the main focus of business, the bottom line – particularly when talking about supply chain actors and retailers. This is why it's so…

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Why a Chinese Government Lawsuit is an Opportunity for Sustainability

China has some of the largest and fastest-growing megacities in the world. And with 100 million more people moving to those cities by 2020, China will have to tackle critical urbanization issues years, even decades ahead of everyone else. One area that doesn't receive nearly enough attention is waste management. Through our ongoing research on waste in China, we've studied the realities of Shan…

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China’s Landfills Are Closing: Where Will The Waste Go?

In China, waste and waste management have attracted national concern. From environmental issues like toxic chemicals in sea water, to issues affecting urban centers – like Beijing's burdened landfills – waste has become a central part of public discourse. With this in mind, we thought we'd share insights from our past and recent work on waste in Shanghai, and shed light on major changes to waste m…

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Ocean Plastic & China’s Affluence, Markets for Sustainability & Leadership | #AskTheCollective 002

As we wrap up the start of February, we are proud to present Episode 002 of the #AskTheCollective video series. This episode features topics ranging from ocean plastic and the influence of affluence in China, to the link between sustainability and a market-driven economy. Many thanks to askers: Wade Sewell, allaways coffee, and Mario Van Der Meulen. As always, we hope you find these questions a…

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[NEW WEBSERIES] #AskTheCollective: Episode 001

As a way to engage with you, our audience, we are happy to announce that Episode 001 of the #AskTheCollective video series is now live! This episode features topics ranging from food waste in China to the reality of China's pledge to become an "ecological civilization". Special thanks to our askers: Travis Opocensky, Hunter Lovins, John Dennis Liu, Ariel Muller, and Rob Watson. #AskTheCollectiv…

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Shanghai Waste Scandal: 100 Tons Dumped Illegally

Earlier this week, Shanghai’s municipal government uncovered 100 tons of waste dumped illegally near Chongming Island. Pictures of the scandal garnered serious attention on Weibo and included biohazards, household waste, and plastics in one of Shanghai’s four reservoirs. Investigators from Chongming’s Water Source Management department have found no signs of serious contamination, but they have te…

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China’s Waste Collectors: A Profile of Mr. Lu

“Most people can make money from this. It’s pretty normal for waste collectors and people on tricycles to have over a couple million dollars in their bank accounts.”  — Mr. Lu, Manager at a large waste collection center Where is he from? Wenzhou, Zhejiang province What does he do? Mr. Lu is one of Shanghai’s most unique entrepreneurs. Like many large business owners, he has tracked commodi…

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