Beijing Garbage
Beijing Garbage
A City Besieged by Waste
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15.6 x 23.4 cm
Asian Studies
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Table of Contents
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List of Illustrations Introduction Theorizing waste and consumer culture Waste in China This Study Data Collection and Constraints Structure of the study Acknowledgements Chapter One. Setting the scene - Form Imperial to Present-Day Beijing The Imperial City and the early Republic Nationalist Beiping People's Beijing Campaigns Recycling propaganda Beijing under Reform Enter the waste pickers China's waste - attempting to assess amounts Chapter Two. The circular economy in China Implementation of laws and regulations and its constraints Performance Evaluation Compliance with laws and regulations and its constraints Internet Plus The sharing economy Internet Plus Recycle Case study of Beijing Incom Resources Recovery Recycling Effectiveness of the O2O model Chapter Three. The human factor - garbage producers Residential communities Singles' Day Municipal classification and separation pilots Gender and garbage Age and garbage One false move The 'guy downstairs' Case study of Red Nest Community Resource Centres Using O2O apps and services Ultra-suzhi Waste and O2O services Chapter Four. The human factor - garbage pickers Migrant labourers Waste picking Native-place ties The structure of the waste stream The Suzhi of waste pickers Urban villages Hongfu Yuan Junk villages, lajicun Closing down the waste villages Types of O2O employments Taoqibao Zai Shenghuo Incom The appeal of working for an O2O company Informal versus O2O waste picking Chapter Five. Educating the people Suzhi Knowledge and education - the central government Knowledge and education - the municipal government Green Frog Knowledge and education - urban drives Knowledge and education - online resources In the community Turning information into concrete behaviour What do the people say for themselves? Turning behaviour into positive credits Chapter Six. NGOs and other voluntary environmental groups Registration GONGOs Embeddedness versus consultative authoritarianism ENGOs in Beijing ENGOs, waste and O2O-companies Green Beagle Huan You Science and Technology Friends of Nature (FoN) Hong Chao ENGOs and Beijing incinerators Green Beagle Huan You Science and Technology Friends of Nature (FoN) Hong Chao In support of popular actions Chapter Seven. The Politics of Incineration Landfills Biological treatment Incineration 'Wet' MSW Liulitun and other incineration sites in Beijing Trust The Tianjin Explosion of 2015 Lack of Faith Building trust Gao'antun garbage culture day trip Popular opposition to incineration Chapter Eight. Breaking the Waste Siege Laws and regulations Trust issues Front-end solutions Rewards and penalties Traditional practices, new approaches The informal sector Education and ENGOs Avenues for future research Bibliography Appendix Index

Reviews and Features

"The book is a timely publication, with many valuable lessons. For anyone interested in China’s environmental governance, this publication is highly recommended."
- Jingfang Liu, Fudan University, The China Journal, Issue 87 (2022)

"Beijing Garbage is arguably one among the very first academic publications about China’s waste that examine the emergence of the O2O business model in waste trade, which is a rather recent phenomenon. The book not only lays out the organisational features of this new model of trade, but has gone further to interrogate how the model is being perceived by the end users (a.k.a., urban residents). [...] The book provides extensive and illuminating discussions on the various institutional settings through which China’s vast and diverse environment is governed."
- Shih-Yang Kao, Asian Journal of Social Science 48 (2020)

Stefan Landsberger

Beijing Garbage

A City Besieged by Waste

Why do central and local government initiatives aiming to curb the proliferation of garbage in Beijing and its disposal continue to be unsuccessful? Is the Uberization of waste picking through online-to-offline (O2O) garbage retrieval companies able to decrease waste and improve the lives of waste pickers? Most citizens of Beijing are well aware of the fact that their city is besieged by waste. Yet instead of taking individual action, they sit and wait for the governments at various levels to tell them what to do. And even if/when they adopt a proactive position, this does not last. Official education drives targeting the consumers are organized regularly and with modest success, but real solutions are not forthcoming. Various environmental non-governmental organizations are at work to raise the level of consciousness of the population, to change individual attitudes towards wasteful behavior, but seemingly with little overall effects.

Stefan Landsberger

Stefan Landsberger is Olfert Dapper Chair of Contemporary Chinese Culture (Emeritus) at the University of Amsterdam and Associate Professor of Contemporary Chinese History and Social Developments at the Leiden University Institute of Area Studies. He has published widely on topics related to Chinese propaganda.