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Share of urban industrial solid waste in China 2018, by handling way

Like many other countries, urbanization in China has been increasing. However, with higher population density, city planners are faced with the challenge of managing an increased volume of waste. In 2018, around 42 percent of industrial solid waste in 200 of China’s large and medium cities was reused.

 Waste disposal 

Along with economic development and urbanization, the amount of trash disposed of in China has skyrocketed since the 90’s. In 2018, China was disposing of over 228 million tons of garbage, where landfill has been historically the most popular way of handling waste. Recent technological advancements have allowed incineration of trash to generate electricity, which is gaining in popularity as an energy source.

 Waste import 

 As a developing country, the waste importing business in China was booming for quite some years. Monthly solid waste imports amounted to around two million tons in September 2018, which was already around 39 percent less compared to the previous year. However, since domestic waste was putting an increasingly heavy burden on local handling facilities, the Chinese government announced that it would put a halt to receiving foreign waste in 2018.  

Share of urban* industrial solid waste in China in 2018, by handling way

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Release date

December 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*Figures included 200 big and medium cities in China.

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Statistics on "Solid waste in China"

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