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Asian Development Bank

50 climate solutions from cities in the People's Republic of China


Through a public–private partnership, converting organickitchen waste from Chengdu’s numerous restaurants intofertilizer will cut emissions and ensure a clean and safe city.

In a build–operate–transfer project, the city of Chengdu is tackling the challenge of responsible recycling of everyday kitchen waste. With more than 15 million inhabitants and a status as the gourmet capital, Chengdu produces a large amount of kitchen waste daily. To solve the problem, which causes serious pollution in Chengdu city center, the city government is supporting the construction of a cutting-edge waste treatment plant. The CNY8.9 million project will convert 200 tons of kitchen waste daily into highly active biological humic acid fertilizer. The project realizes 100% harmless disposal of organic waste and 95% resource utilization, with no
secondary pollution.


To ensure the effective operation of kitchen waste treatment plant, a 10-year franchise agreement has been signed with local contractors, who receive CNY80 per ton of waste collected. To ensure that the waste is collected effectively, the project uses 138 kitchen waste vehicles, 1,980 special containers, and 240,000 dedicated collection bins. The project will be fully operational by 2018, and aims to collect 300 tons of kitchen waste per day.

Through a public–private partnership, converting organic kitchen waste from Chengdu’s numerous restaurants into fertilizer will cut emissions and ensure a clean and safe city
The project produces 100% organic fertilizers, utilizing 95% of the resources with no secondary pollution (photo by Jieshi Zhang).

The Challenge

In Chengdu, more than 40,000 catering enterprises produce 1,000 tons of kitchen waste every day, painting just a small piece of the nationwide picture. Most of the waste is directly used for livestock breeding. However, if not properly taken care of, the organic kitchen waste poses a serious health risk as it can pollute the air, soil, and water.


Economic  The project has disposed 185,000 tons of kitchen waste, and produced 51,400 tons of organic fertilizer, bringing in CNY103 million.

Environment  The harmless disposal of kitchen waste ensures safety in the food chain for all residents, while reductions in waste production and vehicle transport are improving air quality.

Social The project created more than 300 jobs, and with 2,024 food kitchen enterprises participating in the food and garbage collection system, the quality of life in Chengdu city has improved, promoting regional economic and social development.