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Garbage in China

 When dealing with garbage in China, it is important to remember the vast differences between them and the West in terms of development. While China has taken great strides in cleaning their streets and the people are starting to take an interest in aesthetics. One website famously said that China resembles the aftermath of an outdoor concert, however with the recent Olympics and the growing realization of China as a cosmopolitan center with foreigners from all over the world travelling there for work and tourism, China is starting to clean up its act. 

In the larger more developed cities like Beijing and Shanghai, the streets are clean and people take better care to dispose of garbage properly. The rural areas and less developed cities however seem to have every kind of trash imaginable strewn about the streets and on the corners. You will often see older men making their way down the road from one pile of trash to the next, taking away what can be resold.

Trash cans are still a recent introduction to China, and while in some cities they are widely available, in others they are a rarity. Even businesses will throw trash into a heap on the street or if they are trying to keep appearances they may use a severely overflowing trash basket.

Neighborhoods in which a large number of foreigners reside tend to be cleaner than other areas. Whether this is due to the self awareness of Chinese around their western peers or whether the local councils make more effort to keep those areas clean is up for speculation. However it has a positive effect as those habits gradually spread to surrounding neighborhoods over time. 

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