We Visualized The Rules of Shanghai's First Compulsory Waste Sorting by ThePaper.cn / Sixth Tone

On the 1st of July, Shanghai started enforcing its compulsory domestic waste management. The city's regulation requires people to sort trash into four categories - dry garbage, wet garbage (kitchen waste), recyclables and hazardous waste.

Although some resources have already listed out things belong to four categories, it is still hard for residents to get the gist of the waste sorting. Therefore, instead of text, we decided to visualize it.

Under the new rule, different parts of one thing or different usages of one thing could lead to different waste sorting. For instance, glass bottles of milk are recyclable waste, while the same containers of medicine are hazardous. To make things clear, we applied five colors to four categories of waste mentioned above and non-domestic wastes. Then, we colored 2055 things and grouped them into 47 queries.

Each ball of the visualization represents one query group of items, like packing materials, cups, pens, metals, and more. The colors of the ball are a mixture of the colors of every single item of the query group. The higher prevalence of one color, the more likely the query group belongs to a waste category. For example, the ball of electronics is almost covered by blue, so we learned that most electronics are recyclable. Seeing the visualization, readers can instantly get the whole picture of waste sorting. If they are especially interested in one query group, they can click on the ball and check the attribute of every item.