Reply To: China waste incinerators pose wide-ranging threats


From Hong Kong's Sunday Morning Post today:

Chen Liwen is suing Guangzhou's Environmental Protection Bureau after it refused to fully disclose all the information she requested about the city's only waste incineration power plant. The 31-year-old, who has investigated pollution caused by inappropriate waste disposal since 2010, says getting waste disposal statistics from government is an important part of her work for an environmental NGO, but few governments provided all the information she asked for, even though the mainland had enacted legislation on the disclosure of government information in 2008.

'In major cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou or other smaller cities, the governments' logic in dealing with waste is the same – make sure it's not in my sight and that's all. In fact, they have not solved the problem by burning or burying it, but just transferred the problem to the air or somewhere else. For example, we got leachate, solid waste and air pollutants after burning.

It seems that some cities have rolled out waste sorting, but few of them actually have a long-term plan on this.

In the central government's five-year plan for waste treatment, on the one hand it says we should push forward with the sorting and recycling of waste, but on the other it also contains a lengthy section on incineration, saying the percentage of waste to be incinerated should be raised and setting goals for different regions. So it seems the central government itself is still thinking more of low-end solutions to the problem.'

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