Ten years can change one’s life in ways never thought possible.
Case-in-point: Turner Sparks has come a long way since he arrived in China as an English teacher in 2004. From that job, the entrepreneurial Sparks pivoted into other pursuits, including bringing Mister Softee to China, before starting China’s first stand-up comedy group in 2009. In anticipation for his upcoming show at Shares Bar this month, we sat down with Sparks to discuss comedy, his views on China, and everything else in between.
Hi Turner, thanks for your time! You’ve been doing comedy for about five years now – how did you get started?
I’ve always been interested in stand-up comedy since I was a kid, but never really had an opportunity to explore that interest. Growing up in Miami, there wasn’t much of a comedy scene there, so I’ve never really considered it as an option until I got to China. I just like the idea of getting on stage, saying whatever is on my mind, and making people laugh in the process.
So the interest was always there, but why didn’t you act on it until a few years ago?
Well, even though I’ve been interested in comedy, no one was doing it, so there was really nowhere to do it. I started looking around for opportunities around Suzhou and Shanghai, and a chance almost fell into my lap. A buddy opened a bar in Suzhou and one drunken night, I joked that I’d be the entertainment for a night if he was willing to put me on stage and he replied, “If you agree to it, we’ll build a stage.” I thought he was joking.
The next day, I got a message from my friend saying, “We’re building the stage now, you’re on in 20 days.” In those three weeks, somehow I convinced three other friends to go on stage with me on opening night.
How did that go?
Oh, it was terrible [laughs]. The audience was packed they were interested in seeing what we were going to do. We just got on stage and talked for an hour, trying to make people laugh. Luckily, the bar owner didn’t care too much since so many people came to the show and he probably made a ton of money. Actually, my worst experience was my second gig. That gig, I totally bombed and no one laughed. I didn’t know what to do then.
Clearly you didn’t give up though. How did you bounce back from that?
Someone once told me that once you bomb on stage, you have to go on stage again as soon as possible. If you just had the worst show of your life, the next one can’t be any worse; it’ll be either exactly the same or better. So I did booked my next gig and got right back on stage.
How has that affected your stage presence, if at all?
Well, now that I’ve been doing this for a few years, it’s easier for me to gauge the audience and feel them out. When I started, I’d just tell joke after joke to try and get people to laugh, but there’s a process to it. Now, if I tell a joke or two that don’t work, I have the skill to feel out the room and change the direction of my jokes.
Speaking of which, what’s your process in creating new material?
I’ll always debut new material at open mic nights to feel it out and see how people react. Each time I deliver the joke, I’ll try and find new angles on the joke and take different approaches to get to the punch line. Jokes aren’t perfect on the first try; sometimes it starts as a 30-second bit, but after refinement, it can transform into a five-minute ordeal.
What does your material generally focus on?
I have ideas in my head that I’m trying to get out, and stand-up is really my creative outlet to do so.
I draw inspiration for new material from my own life. I talk a lot about my crazy family, my relationship with my girlfriend, and just things that happen to me every day. Ideally, by the end of a show, the audience will feel like they know me.
Your family doesn’t mind being in your jokes?
They love being in the jokes! When they’re not included, they always ask me why. Sometimes they’ll even try and do things to get themselves into my material.
Having toured throughout China, Southeast Asia, and the U.S., do you adjust material based on your audience?
Definitely. At the end of the day, I’m just trying to make people laugh, and what people find funny varies in different countries to a certain degree. The biggest difference I’ve found at my shows is when I’m performing for an expat vs. a non-expat crowd. Expat crowds tend to be a more diverse group of people because they’re from all over the world. For example, I have a bit about Australians that work really well in expat crowds, but when I tour in the U.S. and Mexico, I take that out because it’s less relatable. It’s cool though; being able to perform in front of a diverse audience has really helped me not limit my material to the usual foreigner-in-China schtick.
Awesome. On that note, are there any comedians that have influenced you?
I try to be original in my material, but there are comedians that influence the way I perform. I’ve learned so much from watching Bill Cosby’s stand-up; his ability for storytelling is amazing. I also love how honest Norm McDonald is in his comedy because he doesn’t give a crap about what people think. Bill Burr’s ability to take common conclusions of news stories and try to convince you of the opposite conclusion, while making you laugh, is just amazing. I appreciate what each of these comedians brings to the table and try to incorporate it into the way I deliver my jokes.
Switching gears a little, can you tell me more about how you’ve been able to grow the stand-up scene in China?
As I mentioned earlier in the interview, there wasn’t much of a comedy scene here five years ago. My monthly gigs in Suzhou turned into weekly gigs, and through my network I was able to expand into Shanghai. I started China’s first improv comedy group, Stand Up China, to help spread stand-up and improv in China. My partner and I established Kung Fu Komedy Club in 2013, and it is China’s first full-time comedy club.
With Kung Fu Komedy, we do nine China tours a year where we bring someone from the U.S. or Europe to headline the tour, hitting China’s biggest cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Chengdu and Hangzhou. I’ll generally open the headliner’s set with my own material, but my buddy and I really focus on coordinating the tours. We’re having one this May, with a stop in Hangzhou at the Shares Bar in Binjiang, and another tour in September. Past headliners have included Jimmy Schubert (King of Queens) and Wil Sylvince.
How do you choose which cities to tour in?
We try and work with the local bars to arrange something. In Hangzhou for example, I met the co-owner of Shares Bar at one of my shows in Shanghai and he wanted to bring me to Hangzhou. Ever since then, I’ve been doing a show at their Binjiang location every few months. They’re really focused on bringing stand-up comedians from all over the world to Hangzhou, including Andy Curtain, Ruban Paul, Tammy Immig, and Jimmy Shuburt.
Each time you finish a show, what do you hope audiences walk away with?
I’m 32 now, but I sometimes don’t feel it. There was a lot of growing up I missed in the decade I’ve been in China. For example, I don’t know how to write a check, I’ve never had a mortgage, and I’m not married yet. When people walk away from my show, I hope that they’ve learned a little about me and the idea that it’s okay to not be an adult 100% yet.
It’s all a process, I feel you there. Do you have any last words for your readers?
Go to a comedy show! Whether it’s mine or Aziz Ansari’s or whoevers, the experience of seeing a comedian live is completely different than watching it online. It’s incomparable. A lot of stuff happens in the moment at a show, and those kinds can become the show for the next couple of minutes. That kind of improv and atmosphere can’t be recreated anywhere else.
Check out Turner Sparks at Shares Bar on May 14th, starts at 8pm, with Matt Davis headlining. Shares Bar is located at Room 203, 2/F, Gemini Mansion, 1785 Jianghan Road, Binjiang 江汉路1785号双城国际网新大厦2楼203室. If you’re interested in learning more about KungFu Komedy, check out www.kungfukomedy.com. If you’re interested in more information about future shows in Hangzhou, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The weather is getting hotter and hotter, what beats escaping the summer heat with a refreshing splash in the pool?
But have you ever thought of a question: How much urine is there in the pool?
Let’s talk about that today.
Blogger Mark Rober spoke with a couple of scientists to find out the average amount of pee in a swimming pool. The giveaway is the amount of artificial sweetener in pool water. And the unmistakable pool smell.
Mark sampled private pools and public pools four times and sent the samples directly to a laboratory for inspection
Mark visited Lindsay Blackstock, a PhD student of analytical and environmental toxicology at Alberta University to learn about her ingenious method for measuring the amount of pee in a pool by looking at the concentration of an artificial sweetener called Acefulfame Potassium, it’s commonly found in processed foods and fizzy drinks. This is commonly found in urine because it passes straight through the body undigested.
They looked at samples from some pools in his area to determine how much pee was in them and he conducted an experiment of his own to see what was the cause of that "classic pool smell". He also presented average amounts of pee in large pools as well as an equation to determine how much pee is in your own pool.
In fact, you can also get the results by measuring the amount of urea in the pool, but urea can also come from human sweat, and sweat is very common in pools, so you cannot tell how much urea actually came from pee.
Before the results of the experiment came out, Mark learned a big "secret"!
It took about an hour for the mass spectrometer to detect the results. When Mark waited, Lindsay also told him an amazing fact...
Adding chlorine into a pool can disinfect the water because it kills harmful bacteria, viruses and microorganisms...
However, there is also a big disadvantage! Chlorine for disinfection reacts with urea in the pool to form trichloroamine, that’s why you may smell it when you enter the indoor pool. It is actually the smell of trichloramine, which is the of urine and chlorine, not just the smell of disinfectant water.
To prove this, Mark personally tested it. He prepared two 5 gallon buckets, and filled them with pure water, then added four times the recommended concentration of chlorine for that volume of water to both buckets, and then added a little urine to the bucket B.
After 3 days of waiting, it’s time for the truth.
Bucket A still smells like water even with four times the recommended chlorine concentration, while bucket B smells like a swimming pool. The only difference is that bucket B has a small amount of pee in it. The smell reminds us of summer vacations in a 5-star hotel’s pools or water parks. It turns out… it’s just pee.
The classic pool smell doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the problem is it’s kinda bad news for both your lungs and your eyes.
If your eyes are really red after swimming for a while, that’s because of the trichloroamine from the pee, not the chlorine. Trichloroamine also causes asthma, in fact, studies show that asthma is more likely to occur among lead swimmers than any other high-level athletes, which now make sense, because Michael Phelps admitted to always peeing in the pool and he says everyone does it too.
In Lindsay’s research, she sampled 20 public swimming pools and 10 public hot tubs. The average concentration of sweetener for the public pool was 470ng/L , and 2247ng/L for the public hot tubs.
So what about Mark’s samples? The concentration of artificial sweetener in his friend’s backyard pool is 69ng/L. Although it is much lower than the average, it equals just under a gallon of pee. Mark's hot tub has a slightly higher concentration of artificial sweetener at 103ng/L.
In another set of samples taken by Mark in a public pool and hot tub, the concentration of artificial sweetener is 27ng/L for the pool and 335ng/L for the hot tub, respectively.
Those numbers are much lower than the average levels of the 30 samples that Lindsay collected, which leads Mark to believe that the water has been completely replaced recently.
If you want to estimate the pee in your pool, Mark came up with a simple equation after talking to some professionals and the equation depends on the number of people.
numbers of swimmers × 1.2 = gallons of pee
If you think they pee more than average:
numbers of swimmers × 2 = gallons of pee
If they are more disciplined:
numbers of swimmers × 0.5 = gallons of pee
An Olympic pool would contain over 130 gallons of pee.
While some people swear by the health benefits of drinking urine, which is sterile, taking a gulp of the stuff in a swimming pool is not a good idea.
Urine contains many nitrogenous compounds such as urea, ammonia, amino acids, and creatinine. These compounds can react with disinfectants (e.g., chlorine) in swimming pools to form disinfection byproducts (DBPs).
Although considered a taboo, 19 percent of adults have admitted to having urinated in swimming pools at least once.
So be cool, don’t pee in the pool!
If you are interested watching Mark Rober’s research video, go on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S32y9aYEzzo
The city has been rainy and wet for a month, and you wonder when is this going to end. When the rain stops, it’s time for the heat, and voilà, summer is here. It gets hot and humid in Hangzhou, but there are places nearby you can go to enjoy a cooler environment. These include the islands, mountains, lakes and rivers in or near Hangzhou, and the local water parks.
01 - TONGLU -
Luci Bay 桐庐-芦茨湾
Luci Village is situated on the bank of the Fuchun River and is located beside the Longmenwan Scenic Area in the south of the Yangtze River. The village of Luci has a beautiful landscape with a wealth of rural tourism attractions such as Luci Tutu and Yanlingwu Orchard. Luci Village has a long history and profound cultural heritage. This is the hometown of the late Tang poet Fang Gan. In the village of Luci, there are relatively complete ancient buildings such as Chengong Temple and Linggu Temple with historical and traditional features, ancient lanes, old bridges, and ancestral halls.
There are plenty of water entertainment projects to play. Pick a sunny weekend, bring your water gun and swimsuit, and go have a thrilling rafting or water skiing. If you don't want to go into the water, rent a bicycle to go around the lake, 50RMB for pedal boat for unlimited time, the price is very affordable. Or you can bring a small basket to dig bamboo shoots, pick some raspberries, wild vegetables and herbs. Take a bite on that ice cold watermelon, or ask for a cup of Luci black tea on the way to the mountain is also very good.
- TONGLU -
Yaolin Wonderland 桐庐-瑶琳仙境
During the Olympic season, visitors coming to the Yaolin caves can watch the live broadcast of the Games while cooling off in the caves. Yaolin Wonderland is a group of limestone caves formed by corrosion through the ages. With stalagmite and peak stones in fantastic shapes and colors as well as murmuring streams, pools and cliffs, its halls are interconnected with passages and chambers.
Yaolin Wonderland stretches 1km in depth and covers 28,000 sqm. It ranks second on the list of the newly developed natural scenic sports among the Forty Best Tourist Resorts in China. It was also awarded as one of the Ten Best Tourist Resorts in Zhejiang province.
In the spacious fourth to sixth halls of Yaolin Wonderland, 300-odd immortals from more than 20 myths and legends, such as Nuwa Patching the Skies and Houyi Shooting Down the Nine Suns, are displayed through lifelike modern audio-animatronics, complementing the beauty of the stalagmites in the other three halls of Yaolin Wonderland and adding a touch of mythology.
02 - DEQING -
Moganshan, part of China’s Moganshan National Park, about 1 hour by private car southwest of Shanghai, the lush mountain has long been the stomping ground of high-profile politicians (a list that once included Chairman Mao), foreign missionaries, Chinese gangsters, and well-heeled expats.
Thanks to its elite clientele and countryside appeal, the area has been dubbed the “Hamptons of China,” though visitors will have to trade a sandy coastline for rolling tea plantations and restored 19th-century mansions. Even without the beaches of Long Island, the draw is clear: It’s the kind of place where you can wander through tea plantations by day and sip French wines in a private cellar late into the evening. After a busy week of work in Hangzhou, where temperatures hover around 38 degrees in the summer, Moganshan provides cool mountain air and a blissfully wide-open itinerary.
There are a few places we recommend you to stay, simply search: Le Passage, naked Stables, Solvang Village Boutique on www.morehangzhou.com
03 - JIANDE -
Xin'an River 建德-新安江
Listed with the first group of national scenic spots ever adopted, the city of Jiande is described as a bright pearl along the golden tourist route from Zhejiang province to neighboring Anhui.
The Xin'an River attracts thousands of visitors from both home and abroad every year. Linking Yellow Mountain at its headwaters and Thousand-Island Lake at its lower reaches, the river winds among high mountains.
Due to its splendid landscapes, the river is renowned as a gallery where water meets mountains. Xin'an River is famous for its clear water - in summer or winter, its riverbed can be clearly seen. The temperature of the river remains 17 degrees through the whole year, and the fog on the river is also a wonder.
And forget to try the local specialty: Fish Head!
04 - LIN'AN -
West Zhejiang Grand Canyon 临安-浙西大峡谷
West Zhejiang Grand Canyon is located in the City of Lin'an in western Hangzhou. The canyon is one of the famed landscapes in western Zhexi. There are 4 main sightseeing areas: Jiamen Pass, White Horse Cliff, Zhelin Waterfall, and Laodui Brook.
From White Horse Cliff, you can see a landscape that includes waterfalls, brooks, and cliffs. At Jiamen Pass, you experience rafting or you can enjoy walking along trails through the canyon. At Zhelin Waterfall, you can see Yansheng Waterfall and Longmen Waterfall, the waters of which are exceptionally cool. An important feature of Laodui Brook is a display of cultural activities there.
- LIN'AN -
Qingshan Lake 临安-青山湖
Qingshan Lake is a manmade lake 4-5 kilometers to the east of Lin'an. Lined with metasequoia trees, the Lake makes a unique view. There is also a barbecue court and a small playing ground where you could go parachuting on the water. The best way to appreciate the views here is by boat. Tickets are available at Qinshan and Shenghe, two piers at the south bank of the Lake. You may board and alight at the same pier. There are two types of rides, with one taken on boats painted in the style of classic pleasure boats, and the other on yachts.
05 - LISHUI -
Songyang Ruoliao 丽水 - 松阳箬寮
Songyang County is located in the mountains of southwest Zhejiang and has over 1800 years of history. This is a famous city of provincial history. Historically, it was the economic center of Chuzhou (today's Lishui), and it has many historical relics, including the domestically and internationally famous Yanqing Temple Pagoda. The many cultural sites here also include the Huang Courtyard, the “Ming-Qing Neighborhood,” and the Xiongdi Jinshi (“Brothers Who Passed the Imperial Exam”) memorial gate.
The Ruoliao Primeval Forest is located in Songyang County. It is a small canyon between Lishui Mountain. The cool climate, dense vegetation accompanied by waterfalls and streams make the original forest a good place to escape the heat. The main thing here is to experience the farmhouse music, listen to the sound of the stream, breathe the fresh air and enjoy the fun of nature.
Lately, Shanghai citizens have been busy learning how to sort their garbage.
Overnight, all the garbage bins in Shanghai's major residential complexes disappeared! Residents can now only dispose of their garbage at designated garbage disposal points which are locked up during most of the day.
Each resident will be allocated with a time to dump their waste and a designated station within their vicinity, where they can sort garbage into bins.
The daily time for garbage disposal is regulated:
7am - 9am
6pm – 8pm
(Slightly different for different places)
Garbage must be sorted, otherwise the penalty will be between 50RMB-200RMB.
After the garbage bins were removed, some residents took garbage to work, some dumped them on the street late at night.
"On July 28, 2018, the garbage bins were removed. Although there was a lot of publicity previously (to educate the residents), the complex was like a big garbage dump the day after." Shi Jingjing, secretary of the party branch of the Fushi residential area in Minhang District, Shanghai, recalled, “After the garbage bins were removed and the designated garbage bins put in place, most residents, especially the elderly, found it easier to sort their garbage." Shi Jingjing said, "But some of the young people do not follow the waste classification rules. Some people throw garbage into the street trash can outside the complex. Some people take the garbage with them to throw in the garbage bins where they work.”
“In the vicinity of street shops, there will be a lot of unsorted overnight garbage in the morning.” said Wang Junxiong, head of the business department of Shanghai Jiangchuan Environmental Sanitation Comprehensive Service Co., Ltd. “The urban management, law enforcement, and other departments have their off-duty hours, some merchants would throw the unsorted garbage on the street in the evening. Even if they were discovered, the punishment is not hard enough.” In some communities, in order to find the owner of the ownerless garbage that was thrown away, the residents’ committee officials even went through the garbage to look for clues.
Garbage Disposal Service!
So some “smart” people have developed a new business:
Ms. Chen said she goes out early and comes home late every day. Garbage disposal is scheduled at certain times of the day, which gives her a headache. After all, some people are busy.
Fortunately, some people started to provide garbage disposal services at the complex where she lives. She only needs to leave the sorted garbage at her door. At 9am every day, someone will come to take them to the designated garbage disposal point. The cost is 1RMB each time and 30RMB a month.
Waste sorting is just beginning. It will be a long journey for a big country like China. Apart from enhancing garbage storage sites, local environmental agencies are aiming to resolve garbage overflow in the districts of Jing’an, Changning, Yangpu, Fengxian, Songjiang and Chongming by the end of 2018. Other districts will follow suit next year, and it is expected that a fully conceived national system - including the enforcement of garbage fees - will be in place by 2020.
Starting from June 21st, the Yellow Dragon Stadium Station will no longer operate. There will be two locations where you can get a bus to Shanghai Pudong Airport. The journey takes about 3.5 hours and the ticket cost is 120RMB. Here are the details:
To Shanghai Pudong Airport
(390 Tiyuchang Road体育场路390号)
5:30am, 6:10am, 7am, 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 3:50pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm
From Hangzhou East Train Station
5:55am, 6:45am, 7:35am, 8:35am, 9:35am, 10:35am, 11:35am, 12:35pm, 1:35pm, 2:35pm, 3:35pm, 4:25pm, 5:05pm, 6:05pm
We also collected information for how to get to Xiaoshan Airport. Here are the details:
Bus to Xiaoshan Airport
(390 Tiyuchang Road体育场路390号)
Stops at: Bus station at the junction of Pinghai Road and Yuewang Road 平海路岳王路口公交车站 (You can purchase your ticket at: 平海路杭州市职工国际旅行社内)
First bus: 5am
Last bus: 9pm
Every 15 minutes from 5am to 5pm.
Every 30 minutes from 5pm to 9pm.
From Chengzhan Train Station
Inside of Chengzhan Train Station Bus Station 城站火车站汽车客运站内.
Add: 12-8 East Huancheng Road 环城东路12-8号
First bus: 5am
Last bus: 9pm
Every 30 minutes.
Hangzhou Eastern International Business Center, South Haida Road 海达南路杭州东部国际商务中心
Stops at: Shengtai Kaiyuan Mingdu Hotel 盛泰开元名都酒店
7:15am, 9:30am, 10:30am, 12:10pm, 1:40pm, 3:10pm, 4:30pm, 6:15pm
From Hangzhou East Train Station
Every 30 minutes from 5:30am from 9am.
Every 15 minutes from 9am to 9pm.
Overseas Business Park, 368 Liuhe Road 六和路368号海外创业园
Stops at: Ramada Plaza Riverside Hangzhou (华美达大酒店), and Jiangling Road Subway Station (江陵路地铁站)
6am, 7:30am, 8:30am, 9:30am, 10am, 11:20am, 12:30pm, 1:40pm, 2:50pm, 4pm, 5:20pm, 6:40pm
From Future Science and Technology City
Hangzhou Future Science and Technology City Overseas High-Level Talents Innovation Park杭州未来科技城海创园
6:40am, 7:35am, 8:40am, 9:25am, 10:20am, 11:10am, 12:30pm, 1:20pm, 2:20pm, 3:20pm, 4:20pm, 5:25pm, 5:55pm, 6:40pm
From Xixi Wetland
Longshezui, Xixi Wetland 杭州市西溪湿地龙舌嘴
8am, 10am, 12:20pm, 3:30pm
From Lake View Hotel
2 West Huancheng Road 环城西路2号
9am, 11am, 1:20pm, 4:30pm
From Hangzhou Terminal
(3339 East Desheng Rd. Jiubao Town 九堡镇德胜东路3339号)
6:40am, 7:40am, 8:45am, 8:50am, 9:10am, 9:40am, 10:10am, 10:40am, 11:20am, 12:10pm, 12:50pm, 1:30pm, 2:05pm, 2:35pm, 3:20pm, 4pm, 4:35pm, 5:10pm, 5:50pm, 6:30pm, 7:10pm, 7:40pm, 8:20pm, 8:55pm
From Hangzhou North Bus Station
(766 Moganshan Road 莫干山路766号)
5:15am, 6am, 6:45am, 7:40am, 8:10am, 8:40am, 9:20am, 10am, 10:40am, 11:30am, 12:10pm, 12:40pm, 1:20pm, 1:45pm, 2:30pm, 3:10pm, 3:50pm, 4:20pm, 5pm, 5:40pm, 6:20pm, 7pm, 7:40pm, 8:20pm, 9pm, 9:40pm, 10:10pm
From Hangzhou South Bus Station
(407 Qiutao Road 秋涛路407号)
6:20am, 7:20am, 8:20am, 9:20am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:20pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:10pm
From Hangzhou West Bus Station
(357 Tianmushan Road 天目山路357号)
6:20am, 7:20am, 8:20am, 9:20am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:20pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:10pm
We recommend you this platform to book your bus ticket. Not only can you buy tickets for the airport shuttle bus, but also to other cities as well. You can use your passport to purchase tickets.
To Come Back from Xiaoshan Airport
The shuttle buses of Hangzhou Airport usually take an hour to the city center and around 50 minutes to Xiaoshan District. To buy tickets, go to Gate 14, Arrival Hall, on the first floor of the domestic terminal.
China has been making efforts on waste sorting or waste recycling for decades, but there are still many problems yet to be solved. Eight cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou were considered national pilot cities for garbage sorting in 1998. Twenty years on, their efforts have not achieved the desired results. According to the People's Daily, the failure of garbage classification was due to three reasons: a lack of awareness from residents, misconduct from garbage workers and insufficient financial support.
According to a survey released by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment research center, 63.7 percent of people surveyed believe that the reason why they fail to sort the garbage is due to the lack of classified waste bins in their residential communities. 59.6 percent of people blame their behavior on the failure of city garbage disposal services, which mix all garbage together, leading people to think that there's no point in sorting.
Other reasons include that the residents don't know how to sort; they have no sense of accomplishment; they think sorting is complicated, exhausting and few people around them do it.
First Penalty in Hangzhou for Garbage Classification
On May 30th, 2019, Hangzhou Jianggan District officially imposed penalties for the classification of personal waste.
On the morning of May 30, Mr. Zhang, who lives in Caihe Street in Jianggan District, signed his name on the “Administrative Punishment Decision”. Jianggan District City Management Office fined Mr. Zhang for 50RMB because the garbage was misplaced.
Mr. Zhang became the first person in Hangzhou who was not properly sorting garbage and was subject to administrative punishment.
Shanghai Will Be the First City to Enforce Garbage Classification
Yes, starting from July 1st, 2019, Garbage Classification will be officially implemented in Shanghai!
Shanghai is going to be the pioneer city for waste sorting and recycling, which makes it the first city in China to publish harsh regulations on garbage sorting and recycling. The government has put out a list of categories for sorting waste including recyclable, hazardous, wet and dry. It also specified the punishments for individuals and companies that break the rules.
Fines for individual mixed garbage will be up to 200RMB
Fines for companies, organizations, and complex mixing of garbage will be up to 50,000RMB
For individuals, authorities will fine a maximum of 200RMB (about 29 U.S. dollars) for mixing the garbage, while companies and organizations that are in charge of garbage sorting, transporting, processing and management will be fined a maximum 50,000RMB (about 72,357 U.S. dollars).
The regulation will come into effect on July 1 and was passed by the people's congress of Shanghai municipal city on January 31, 2018.
Basically divided into four categories: Hazardous Waste, Recyclable Waste, Household Food Waste, and Residual Waste. Check out the colours and Chinese below:
These four categories are the major ones. How do we distinguish them? We explain each category for you, let’s start with Recyclable Waste.
Paper, plastic, scrap metal, glass bottles & containers, magazines, books & cardboard, clothes, fabric, toys, take-out or food delivery packaging
This is where your plastic bottles and containers go, unless they are dirty and can’t be cleaned, in which case, they go in the Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin. Pour out the liquid before you throw your drink bottles or food containers away. Rinse them with water and squash them. You’re doing the sanitation workers a huge favor by reducing the size and weight, and giving them a bit of dignity.
Cosmetic brands such as Kiehl's, Origins, M.A.C, Shiseido, and Innisfree can take your returned containers and reward you with small samples and membership points.
Household Food Waste
Food waste, expired food, shells & husk, dead plants, Chinese medicine
Anything type of food waste belongs in this category. The chicken bones from last night, the shells from your favourite spicy crayfish, shrimp, or crab, the plant you bought three months ago and is now dead, grape skin, fruit peels… but leftover milk or yogurt should be poured directly into your sink.
Most organic food waste belongs here, except things that are hard to break down, like big bones and coconut shells, which go in the Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin. Remember to remove the plastic from anything you put in these bins.
Anything else goes to Residual Waste.
Bottles or cans that are dirty and can’t be cleaned should go in the Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin. Things like face mask packaging, nail polish bottles, cotton sticks, toothbrushes, towels, used tissues, tampons, diapers, cigarette butts, plant pots, plastic wrap, yogurt or milk bottles (you need to empty the bottle first). Clean food packaging goes to Recyclable, dirty and used packaging goes to Residual Waste.
Waimai containers are incredibly hard to recycle, even the paper-based ones. These containers are often lined with polyethylene and tainted with food residue so they are very unpopular among garbage collectors -- it’s not worth their effort to wash them or separate the liners. The same goes for disposable coffee cups. This is a problem.
So here are the four steps we suggest you do. First, separate the clean paper/plastics and dirty containers. Leftover food →Household Food Waste Bin (湿垃圾); dirty containers →Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin; Clean bags → Recyclable (可回收物) bin.
Used batteries (rechargeable batteries, button batteries, batteries), paint cans, waste lamp, paint buckets, pesticides (there are residues that need to be sealed in advance and then disposed of), expired or discarded drugs, and other hazardous materials.
In newer residential areas, they are usually right next to the other bins, in red or with a red label. If you don’t have one in your neighborhood, talk to your local neighborhood management about options for disposal. That’s kind of mafan but we all need to do the best we can.
If you are wondering how many garbage bags you should have at home to handle daily waste, we have an idea for you to try.
More Options for Recyclable Waste
For books, Duozhuayu (多抓鱼) is great for selling and buying second-hand books. Funded by Tencent, Duozhuayu has a system that verifies and estimates the value of your books, and they will collect the books from you free of charge.
For clothes, take them back to the store, or take them to H&M. Clothing shops Uniqlo, H&M, and Zara all provide recycling services for used clothes from their own shops; H&M even accepts clothes from other brands.
Social enterprise Feimayi (飞蚂蚁) is at the forefront of online textile recycling in China and provides a free collection service for more than five kg of clothes. Also funded by Tencent, like Duozhuayu, it’s accessible via desktop and WeChat mini-program. Find the QR code by scrolling down on their website. Basic Chinese is needed to navigate the app and fill out the form.
Aihuishou (爱回收) is China’s largest platform for recycling and selling second-hand electronics. They have offline stores in shopping malls throughout the city.
Xianyu (闲鱼) is Taobao’s second-hand marketplace. Although not desktop-friendly, you can sell almost anything there. The platform is super active due to its sheer size. There is an amazing, incredible, wonderfully efficient and hugely profitable Buy & Sell section here.
Green Initiatives offers transparent waste management for e-waste, paper, and textile waste. They also have recycling bins at URBN hotel, Element Fresh, and many other private and public collection points around Shanghai. For home pick up, Feibao, a social enterprise that works with Green Iniatitives offers recycling service through WeChat.