Chinese cities will begin full-scale promotion of garbage sorting by 2020, an official said Thursday.
By 2020, cities must put in place laws and regulations as well as industrial standards on garbage sorting, said Wang Menghui, minister of housing and urban-rural development, at a conference in Xiamen, a coastal city in Fujian Province.
All public institutions should exercise garbage sorting by 2020, when the 46 selected pilot cities should have established a garbage sorting system, the minister said.
Legislation should be accelerated to provide support for the system, and innovation be encouraged to explore experiences that could be replicated nationwide, Wang stressed.
The minister also called for more efforts to improve garbage treatment in rural areas.
The timetable came as China's cities are facing a pile-up of household waste, while landfills and incinerators have often met opposition from local residents.
So far, 12 cities have adopted related laws and regulations on garbage sorting, while 24 have plans on the issue.