Harbin's clean sweep puts scavengers in uniform
In an attempt to polish up the streets of Harbin, officials are cracking down on rubbish scavengers, ordering them to register at the local public security office and wear a uniform, state media reported yesterday.
The scavengers rummage through refuse looking for things to sell.
About 2,000 of them have been put under administrative control, according to the Beijing Morning Post. In addition to wearing uniforms, they will each be issued a number, a name plate and a vest.
Eight management centres have been set up in the city to monitor the business of selling, trading and processing rubbish.
The clean-up campaign has also removed more than 2,200 unregistered motor vehicles from the streets of the Heilongjiang provincial capital.
Restrictions have been slapped on when and where the rubbish collectors can work.
The city centre and tourist sites will be out of bounds. Nor could they stop in the middle of streets to pick up rubbish, or work between 7pm and 7am, local security authorities said.
The collectors will also have to make sure they do not disturb residents or leave behind a mess when carrying out the work.