Municipal Solid Waste Properties in China: A Comparative Study between Beijing, Guangzhou and Lhasa

With the rapid development of China’s urbanisation and market economy, municipal solid waste (MSW) generation is increasing dramatically. In response to the threat of environmental pollution and the potential value of converting waste into energy, both the government and the public are now paying more attention to MSW treatment and disposal methods. In 2014, 178.6 million tonnes of MSW was collected at a safe treatment rate of 84.8%. However, the treatment methods and the composition of MSW are influenced by the collection area, its gross domestic product, population, rainfall and living conditions. This chapter analysed the MSW composition properties of Lhasa, Tibet, compared with other cities, such as Beijing, Guangzhou and so forth. The research showed that the moisture content of MSW in Lhasa approaches 31%, which is much lower than the other cities mentioned previously. The proportion of paper and plastics (rubbers) collected was 25.67% and 19.1%, respectively. This was 1.00–3.17 times and 0.75–2.44 times more than those found in Beijing and Guangzhou, respectively. Non-combustibles can reach up to 22.5%, which was 4.03–9.11 times that of Beijing and Guangzhou, respectively. The net heating values could reach up to 6,616 kilojoule/kilogram. The food residue was only half the proportion found in other cities. Moreover, the disposal method applied in each city has also been studied and compared.