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Well Intentioned Taiwanese Couple Tries to Introduce Recycling in Dongguan, But It Doesn’t Work Out So Well…

Posted: 01/20/2015 9:30 am

dongguan taiwan recycling attackJi Daxin and Xie Renzhen are a retired Taiwanese couple who decided to stay in Dongguan after opening a factory there ten years ago. Over the last five years, the couple has tried to introduce the concept of recycling to their neighbors by opening a small recycling station in their neighborhood.

As simple and well-intentioned as this plan was, the couple now admits they were overly optimistic. Not only has the idea of recycling failed to catch on with their neighbors, but their recycling station was destroyed after having been the target of complaints and attacks by vandals.

A 13th floor property owner complained many times about the recycling station and was seen destroying it in a drunken stupor on January 15. He sprayed graffiti on the sign saying, ironically, “garbage”.

Ji said he tried to be reasonable about complaints. “If there’s something that doesn’t please you, just tell me. If there’s something that affects you in a bad way, I’ll change it,” he said.

The property management of the neighborhood has proposed a compromise by providing Ji and Xie with another spot for the station. However, the couple isn’t sure whether they’ll take it.

Ji leans toward re-opening because of support he says some in the community have shown him, but Xie has other ideas:

The point of making this recycling station is to encourage others [to recycle], it wasn’t [for us] to recycle this garbage ourselves. Since we’re unable to encourage anyone else to follow along, all we’re doing is collecting garbage.

As Xie admits, the couple has only been successful in converting two other families to recycle:

Now that the recycling station has been destroyed, assaults could follow. That’s why the recycling station should be closed. This is what you’d call learning from the “school of hard knocks”.

However, Ji is more optimistic, saying even the son of the man who destroyed his recycling station says he’ll start recycling.

None of this bodes well for the future of recycling in China.

Photo: People’s Daily Online

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