A Chinese ministry has released a notice urging 46 major cities to create detailed action plans for garbage sorting, by the end of March this year.
The plans should make clear annual work targets and specific tasks, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
In 2018, the cities must launch pilot areas for garbage sorting, and gradually expand the model to more regions, the notice said.
By 2020, the 46 cities should have basically built a treatment system for garbage and put in place laws and regulations for the sector, with the utilization rate of recyclable and corruptible organic waste reaching 35 percent.
The ministry is aiming to create an international standard garbage sorting system before 2035.
The timetable came as China's cities are facing a pile-up of household waste, with landfills and incinerators often meeting opposition from local residents.