Thu, Jan 18, 2007 - Page 17 News List

No more room for garbage 垃圾無處堆

China's fast-growing cities will no longer be able to cope with the amount of rubbish they produce by 2020, according to a government study.

By that time the garbage produced annually by urban households and businesses in the world's most populous nation will reach 400 million tonnes, equivalent to the figure for the entire world in 1997.

The China Daily cited research by the China Council for International Cooperation and Development, a government-run environmental watchdog, which warned that inadequate waste management could result in methane explosions, the release of toxic gases and the pollution of water supplies.

Rapid urbanization, inadequate waste treatment and relatively low levels of recycling are already putting a heavy strain on landfill sites. The state media estimates that the average city dweller produces 440kg of waste a year. Between 70 percent and 90 percent is burned or buried in giant landfills, which reportedly cover 50,000 hectares nationwide.

China also imports other countries' trash, especially electronic parts, scrap metal and plastic products. Much of that garbage is reused, but plenty ends up in landfills.

Municipal governments are securing new sites but they are filling up faster than expected. Engineers in Chongqing estimate that the city's giant Changshengqiao landfill, which stretches over 35 hectares, will be full within 15 years, two years ahead of schedule.

Wealthier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are building treatment plants. Guangzhou is spending 5 billion yuan (NT$22.4 billion) to build seven plants by 2010, including one that is said to be the world's largest. But in other areas the only recycling is done by scavengers who sift through garbage dumps for bottles, cans and newspapers.(The Guardian)

Today's Words 今天單字

1. cope v.i. /v.t.

應付 (ying4 fu4)

例: I'm trying to cope with all the homework the teacher gave us.

(我正試著做完所有老師交代的作業。)

2. toxic adj.

有毒的 (you3 du2 de5)

例: If you accidentally drink toxic chemicals, call 119 right away.

(如果你不慎喝下有毒化學物質,立刻打一一九。)

3. urbanization n.

都市化 (du1 shi4 hua4)

例: As urbanization quickens, the city government has to deal with new problems.

(隨著都市化腳步加快,市政府必須應付新問題。)

4. landfill n.

垃圾掩埋場 (le4 se4 yan3 mai2 chang3)

例: Some companies build golf courses on top of full landfills.

(有些企業將高爾夫球場蓋在已飽和的垃圾掩埋場上。)


根據中國政府一份研究指出,到了二○二○年,成長快速的中國都市將無力處理自己製造出來的垃圾量。

屆時,這全球人口最多的國家,每年都市家庭及商業所製造的垃圾將高達四億噸,相當於一九九七年的全球垃圾量。

「中國日報」引述公營環境監督團體「中國環境與發展國際合作委員會」的研究報告警告,廢棄物的處理不當,將導致瓦斯氣爆、毒氣外洩以及水源污染。

快速的都市化、不當的垃圾處理以及回收率偏低,對垃圾掩埋場造成極大壓力。這家公營媒體估計,每位城市居民每年平均製造四百四十公斤垃圾,70%至90%都以焚化處理或送至大型垃圾掩埋場。據估計,這些大型掩埋場全國佔地五萬公頃。

中國也進口其他國家的垃圾,特別是電子零件、廢棄金屬和塑膠製品。不少垃圾可再利用,但大部分垃圾最後丟棄至垃圾掩埋場。

各地市府單位都在尋覓新掩埋地點,但掩埋場的飽和速度比預期得快,重慶市的工程師估計,佔地三十五公頃的重慶大型掩埋場「長生橋」將在十五年內達飽和狀態,比規劃提早兩年。

較為富裕的城市如北京和上海正興建垃圾處理場。廣州將斥資五十億人民幣(新台幣兩百二十四億元),在二○一○年前建造七座處理場,包括其中一座據稱將是世界最大的垃圾處理場。然而在其他地區,唯一的回收就只是清潔工在堆滿瓶瓶罐罐和報紙的垃圾堆中,挑出可回收的資源。(衛報╱翻譯︰鄭湘儀)

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