Beijing's eight urban districts have set down the last Saturday of each month to collect recyclable waste materials such as used paper and plastic bottles.
On Saturday municipal authorities set up 18 collection spots in various city communities and made public contact numbers for collection companies designated for each district. Now residents can enjoy door-to-door service by making a phone appointment with collection agencies.
Each collection spot had received around one tonne of waste apiece by late Saturday, said the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce, co-organizer of the campaign.
Duan Wei, a deputy director with the commission's service trade department, said the aim was to raise citizens' awareness of environmental protection and improve efficiency in reclaiming usable materials by selling waste to professional recycling agencies.
Beijing has more than 3,000 collection centers for recyclable waste, covering both urban and suburban districts.
But a large number of Beijing residents' buildings do not have separate recyclable waste facilities and residents only occasionally sell the waste to individual dealers.
Duan said the "recycling" day and its connected services would be "gradually" expanded to suburban districts and cover almost all resident communities by 2015.
It is also planned to reward residents and organizations who regularly turn in recyclable wastes.
(Xinhua News Agency August 30, 2009)