Fri, Jun 12, 2009 - Page 5 News List

‘Garbage crisis’ looming as trash piles up in Beijing

AFP , BEIJING

Beijing faces a “garbage crisis” as an increasing volume of rubbish threatens to overwhelm the capital’s existing landfills, state media reported yesterday.

The volume of waste produced in the city is growing at eight percent per year and is expected to exceed the capacity of Beijing’s 13 landfill sites within five years, the China Daily reported, citing the city government.

It quoted a municipal commission warning of a “garbage crisis” if the city does not rapidly open new landfills and waste incineration facilities, noting that two of Beijing’s dumps are already full and will soon close.

“We are working on laws and penalties to cut down garbage production in the capital and have sped up construction of new sanitary landfill sites,” the paper quoted a city spokesman as saying.

It gave no other details.

The increasing willingness of city residents to vocally oppose new landfills or waste incinerators poses an increasing difficulty for those tasked with resolving the problem, the China Daily report said.

It said the national government in March canceled construction of a controversial waste-fuel power plant in Beijing because of residents’ worries that it would pollute local aquifers.

The rapid growth of Beijing and other large cities has become an increasing worry for the nation’s planners amid fears over pollution and water supplies.

Last year the central government banned the distribution of free plastic bags at supermarkets throughout the nation.

China is building an ambitious multibillion-dollar water diversion project that will bring water from the nation’s longest river, the Yangtze in central and southern China, to parched northern areas like Beijing.

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