If you decide to do any internships in China recently, you probably encounter the trend of garbage classification in 46 fast-developed cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu and so on. After the execution of policies about garbage classification by the government on 1st July in 2019, studying how to sort the garages has become a hot topic in people’s social communication in China. For example, recently in Chengdu citizens tend to start a conversation by asking a quick quiz about sorting garbage instead of a greeting, which is quite interesting phenomenon. Therefore, it is important to learn more about Chinese new garbage classification during your internships in China.

In most Chinese cities, there are four main categories for classifying garbage. Keep these sorting categories in mind to better adapt Chinese local life while being an international intern in China.

No.1 Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste involves garbage that has direct or indirect risks to one’s health and safety when exposure to it by accidence. The common hazardous waste involves dry cell batteries, outdated pills, lamp tube, and mercury thermometers.

No. 2 Recycle Waste

Recycle waste is the type of waste that can be applied to reuse after reprocessing to reduce waste and resource consumption. This includes paper, plastic, glass, textile, and metal, etc.

No. 3 Household Food Waste

As it indicated in the name, household food waste is the kitchen garbage, which includes leftovers, fruit and vegetable scraps, skeletal viscera of animals and waste tea. By recycling these wastes, these can be used in land fertilization as environmentally friendly composts.


No. 4 Residual Waste

Residual waste can be regarded as other waste that is hard to recycle and has already been contaminated. These include candy wrappers, used diapers, cigarette butts, dust, and disposable foam food containers.

From now on, there is also a punishment for an individual’s inappropriate littering, with a maximum of 200 RMB fine. Therefore, international interns need to pay extra attention to littering while living in Chengdu to adapt Chinese new environmental friendly lifestyles.

Although the garbage classification is not well established in China, related policies help people to build the consciousness of sorting wastes. With the efforts of international interns in China, we believe that China will become a more livable country and contribute to the protection of the whole world environment.