Rent, recycle or redesign

08:22, September 26, 2010      

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Volunteers at Fudan University in Shanghai pack military training kits. The uniforms, worn by freshmen during the compulsory training, will be cleaned and sent to students at a middle school in Guizhou Province. Photo: IC

As compulsory military training for freshman at China's universities comes to a close, students are presented with the problem of what to do with their uniforms. Some choose to throw it in the dustbin; others treasure its value and the memories it holds.

Now, experts are pointing out that recycling the kit would alleviate students' money worries and give full play to each uniform.

Multiple uses

"Recycling the uniforms not only makes the most of resources but also helps those who need assistance," said Xu Liang, a freshman at Zhejiang University.

Xu said he donated his uniform to the university after the military training ended early this month. In return, he got 10 yuan ($1.49) as a compensation. "I would never wear it on campus after the training, as it would look odd," he said.

Xu added that some of his classmates kept the hat as a souvenir and donated the rest, while few declined to donate anything, as the new one had cost them 80 yuan.

Others like Huang Haiqi at Beijing University of Posts and Communication, throw it away as he said there was no convenient place to dispose of it.

Jiao Lu, a senior from Shandong University at Weihai, gave the clothes to a cleaner for free. Ma Liang, from the China University of Petroleum, sent them to a migrant worker.

"Why not keep it as a souvenir?" suggested Li Yichao, a sophomore at China Foreign Affairs University. "It will be a unique experience in our university life."

One sophomore surnamed Wu from Qingdao University said that one of her roommates tore the uniform into pieces and used it as a dust cloth after the training was over. "At least she re-used it," Wu added.

"I think we could recycle the uniforms at a lower price and sell them on to laborers," said Wang Li, a freshman at Qingdao University. "We can also earn some pocket money to ease our parents' expenses."

Another student, majoring in design and using the pseudonym xinqingtangguo on the Internet, said that the second-hand uniforms could be re-used as material for their design projects.

Waste of money

A reasonable estimate would be that at least half of the military training uniforms go to waste.

According to the Sanqin Daily, uniforms worth at least 8 million yuan ($1.19 million) were thrown away in Shaanxi Province alone this year.

While in Qingdao, another 1.5 million yuan was lost according to the Shandong-based City Message on September 14.

"It's a great pity that most students throw them in the rubbish," said a cleaner surnamed Chen, working at the Zhejiang Economic &Trade Polytechnic.

She said most of the uniforms thrown away were in reasonable condition. She said the cleaners often collect them and give them to their construction worker husbands and their colleagues.

"Universities could consider collecting the uniforms and selling them the next year," said Zou Ji, the deputy dean of the School of Environment and Natural Resources of Renmin University of China.

He also suggested universities purchase the uniforms and rent them to students. "About 80 yuan for the first year, 60 yuan for the next and 40 for the third," he said. "Both the university and students could benefit from it while the uniforms would get maximum use."

Source: Global Times(By Jin Jianyu)


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