China waste incinerators pose wide-ranging threats

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    Here's some information that helps show opposing waste incinerator is not some Not in My Backyard issue; instead opposition to waste incinerators such as the one planned for Shek Kwu Chau can have far wider implications.

    China's rapid development has led to rapid increases in waste, and incineration is seen as important method for dealing with it. This will lead to pollution of air and water, with airborne pollutants – especially – spreading worldwide.

    Yet with incineration relatively poorly developed as yet, China also has opportunities to adopt better waste strategies, including far more reduction, reuse and recycling, and use of far less polluting – and less primitive – forms of waste treatment, such as using anaerobic digestion and plasma arc gasification.

    From some news stories, indicating cause for major concern – and which should give planners pause for thought:

    After surpassing the United States as the world’s largest producer of household garbage, China has embarked on a vast program to build incinerators as landfills run out of space. But these incinerators have become a growing source of toxic emissions, from dioxin to mercury, that can damage the body’s nervous system.

    And these pollutants, particularly long-lasting substances like dioxin and mercury, are dangerous not only in China, a growing body of atmospheric research based on satellite observations suggests. They float on air currents across the Pacific to American shores.

    Incinerators are being built to wildly different standards across the country and even across cities like Shenzhen. For years Chinese government regulators have discussed the need to impose tighter limits on emissions. But they have done nothing because of a bureaucratic turf war, a Chinese government official and Chinese incineration experts said.

    Studies at the University of Washington and the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill., have estimated that a sixth of the mercury now falling on North American lakes comes from Asia, particularly China, mainly from coal-fired plants and smelters but also from incinerators. Pollution from incinerators also tends to be high in toxic metals like cadmium.

    Incinerators play the most important role in emissions of dioxin. Little research has been done on dioxin crossing the Pacific. But analyses of similar chemicals have shown that they can travel very long distances.

    A 2005 report from the World Bank warned that if China built incinerators rapidly and did not limit their emissions, worldwide atmospheric levels of dioxin could double. China has since slowed its construction of incinerators and limited their emissions somewhat, but the World Bank has yet to do a follow-up report.

    Airborne dioxin is not the only problem from incinerators. The ash left over after combustion is laced with dioxin and other pollutants. Zhong Rigang, the chief engineer at the Baoan incinerator here, said that his operation sent its ash to a special landfill designed to cope with toxic waste. But an academic paper last year by Nie Yongfeng, a Tsinghua University professor and government adviser who sees a need for more incinerators, said that most municipal landfills for toxic waste lacked room for the ash, so the ash was dumped.

    China’s Incinerators Loom as a Global Hazard

    One year after China saw its first-ever court case against a trash incineration company, citizens in different parts of China are still protesting their neighborhood waste plants over foul odors and potentially-harmful dioxin emissions.

    In the meantime, Chinese officials are moving forward with plans to more than double the proportion of trash processed by incinerators in the next five years.

    At a Shanghai forum on electricity-generating waste incinerators—also known as "waste-to-energy" (WTE) technology—Shanghai Environmental Engineering Design Institute Director Zhang Yi said China plans to use more than 300 waste incinerators by 2015, capable of destroying 30 percent of China's total waste, or 30,000 tons of waste daily.

    China sees over 350 million tons of household waste annually, with 150 to 160 million coming from urban areas. Currently, 12 percent of waste treatment involves incineration, while the rest draws on other methods like landfills and composting. Incineration is a preferred method because it occupies a relatively small amount of space, and can better control for odor.

    Despite this, at least ten protests against incinerators have flared up across China from June 2007 to January 2011—three in Beijing, three in Jiangsu Province, another three in Guangdong Province and one in Shanghai. Drawing on a Shanghai Environmental Engineering Design Institute study commissioned by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Zhang said citizens have thrown up a fight over excessive smoke and bad smells caused by low environmental standards and poor management, and because they are concerned that dioxin particles emitted by incinerators are hazardous. Higher housing prices have also caused residents to have higher expectations for their environments, he said. …

    …evidence is building on the severe effects that a high concentration of cancer-causing dioxins can have on human health, and some are taking their grievances from the streets to the courts. China's first case launched against a waste incineration company is still alive in the courts, but legal experts say that with the government's current stance on civil litigation, the case may remain in limbo.

    In September 2010, Xie Yong, a resident of Jiangsu Province's Nantong, took the province's Hai'an waste incinerator to court, making for China's first legal case against a waste incinerator for causing disease….

    With waste disposal a growing concern in China, the use of municipal solid waste plants, or trash-to-electricity plants, has presented itself with a two-fold benefit of clearing landfills while generating power. But in Shenzhen, power plants have been leveraging the lack of updated regulation on alternative power generation – and dumping untreated toxic sludge into nearby waterways.

    Filled with heavy metals, the run-off is a product of the discharge from the incineration of unsorted trash. Experts say seepage of industrial effluent into drinking water supplies or nearby aquifers can pose huge risks to human health, among them developmental abnormalities. But trash-to-electricity plants in China currently operate without adequate facilities to treat wastewater.

    The Laohukeng trash-to-electricity power plant in the Bao'an District of Shenzhen is one such facility that has sidestepped treatment of the wastewater it generates – and all responsibility for the wastewater's final destination. In September 2010, local media in Guangdong Province uncovered that the plant had been dumping its wastewater into nearby rivers and used third-party companies to transport wastewater to Dongguan City.

    "There have been no national surveys or reports on wastewater pollution," said Lei Hengyi, an environmental science professor at Sun Yat-Sen University. "If anyone is willing to do it, I believe the results would be quite astonishing."

    Heavy Metal Sluice   

    Both the Laohukeng trash-burning power plant and another trash-burning power plant in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen have come up against numerous allegations of illegal dumping into wastewater pipelines for several years. However, despite exposure by local media, authorities in Guangdong moved to punish one of the two contractors hired to transport wastewater from the Shenzhen plants to a qualified water treatment plant. Shenzhen Guangyihong Co. was fined 80,000 yuan and was also ordered to pay a pollutant disposal fee of 40,000 yuan. The other third-party transporter, Mingjie Environmental Protection Co., was not investigated at all. However, the two trash-to-electricity plants were completely left out of the local government's investigation….



    The Guardian has a lengthy article on issues with China's waste incinerators. Includes:

    China now generates over a quarter of the world's garbage, at least 250 million tonnes annually. With municipal solid waste (MSW) growing 8% to10% annually, cities are under great pressure to deliver advanced waste-management solutions.

    Landfills currently handle roughly half of China's MSW, while only about 10% is incinerated. Official credo suggests that landfills will continue to play a dominant role. But Beijing's push to increase the share of burned waste is unmistakable: a central target calls for 30% of MSW to be treated by waste-to-energy incineration by 2030.

    Waste-to-energy incineration is classified as a renewable energy form in China, meaning that plants receive a feed-in tariff for every kilowatt hour of electricity they generate. Only two months ago, Beijing announced a fixed subsidised price for power purchased from waste-to-energy plants, which is about double that from coal-powered plants.

    The results of these subsidies are dramatic. Both foreign and local waste-to-energy players have rushed to stake their claims, in some cases submitting loss-making tender offers just to get a foothold. Many waste-management experts suspect that Chinese city officials are among the most eager investors; using public infrastructure and tax revenue to profit personally.

    China's incinerators, though canonised as a "clean energy," have a dirty underside. Thermal waste treatment plants are subject to emissions regulations considerably looser than those for power plants. Legally, they can emit nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide at, respectively, four and five times the levels of power plants in China. 

    Newer facilities are installed with air-pollution control systems, but these are costly to use and maintain. Thus, many plants operate without the required flue gas filtering equipment. Likewise, treatment of other highly toxic byproducts – such as wastewater removed before incineration and fly ash created during burning – tends to be either poor or non-existent. This follows partly from the lack of regulations on how waste-to-energy plants should treat wastewater.

    The dirty truth about China's incinerators



    Column in yesterday's S China Morning Post included:

    Stink of Guangzhou garbage plan refuses to go away

    City says landfills can't handle all the rubbish and incinerators are a must. But residents have a host of worries, and don't trust government


    Sally Wang SCMP


    Hundreds of residents of Qingyuan and Guangzhou took to the streets on June 10 to protest against a plan to build a garbage incinerator in Guangzhou's Huadu district, close to Qingyuan.

    It was one of the largest protests against government plans to build incinerators in Guangzhou, but just over a week later the standing committee of the city's people's congress confirmed plans to build five garbage incinerators by 2015, with one of three planned for Huadu to be completed by 2014.

    The government has cut the number of incinerators it plans to build by 2015 from six to five, and reduced its daily-capacity target from 15,000 tonnes to 11,000 tonnes, but public opposition remains widespread.

    The city already has one incinerator, in Likeng, in the northern district of Baiyun, which handles 1,000 tonnes of refuse each day. Most of the rest of the 18,000 tonnes of waste the city produces each day ends up buried in landfills, which, according to the Southern Metropolis Daily, already contain 40 million tonnes of garbage.

    While the scaling back of the city's incineration plans can be viewed as official acknowledgement of public concerns, the government remains resolute in its determination to promote the burning of refuse both to solve its waste problem and to generate electricity.

    … the public has concerns, with people complaining the incinerators will be built close to communities and could pose serious threats to residents' health and the environment. There are nine villages and several residential communities within 2.5 kilometres of the proposed Huadu plant, the Nanfang Daily reported.

    Arguments over whether Guangzhou should have incinerators, and, if so, where, have been going on since 2009. Besides concerns over health and green issues, some people also doubt the government's integrity, and worry about back-room deals.

    The city government also needs to answer doubts about the fairness of the bidding process and about just how clean its own hands are.

    Only if it wins people's trust will the Guangzhou government be able to deal with the stink created by its plans for the city's garbage.


    South China Morning Post on another nearby place with arguments over incineration; further shows it would be good if Hong Kong can play some role in stemming tide against monster incinerators that seem to be on the march across mainland China, even as places like New York City look to modern alternatives like plasma arc waste treatment:

    Panyu presses on with incinerator plans

    After protests foiled previous plan, proposal calls for plant in a different part of the Guangzhou district

    Mimi Lau in Guangzhou

    Nearly three years after plans to build an incinerator in Guangzhou's Panyu district triggered massive protests, authorities have invited tenders to build the plant in a different part of the district.

    According to an urban solid-waste-management plan for 2010 to 2020, the district government has proposed that the waste incinerator be operating by 2014 in Dagang town, at the southern end of Panyu, The Southern Metropolis News reported yesterday. The plant was originally planned for the northern end of the district.

    Two other towns – Dongchong and Dashi – were listed as backup options. The district government said the location would be selected within two weeks and public feedback would be sought only after the site was confirmed.

    In 2009, Panyu officials announced a plan to build the incinerator in Dashi, which borders Haizhu district, but in November of that year the proposal faced intense opposition from nearby residents. More than 10,000 signatures were collected, and hundreds of angry property owners, concerned about their health and the negative effects on real estate prices, took the streets.

    The proposed incinerator in Panyu is designed to process 2,500 tonnes of solid waste a day, and the capacity is expected to be raised to 2,900 tonnes by 2020 and 4,000 tonnes by 2030. The incinerator would probably serve residents in the Panyu and Nansha districts.



    We are a group of non-governmental organisations and individuals who care about China’s environmental protection and social wellbeing. In this letter we would like to express our heartfelt concern regarding the investment and construction arrangements of the Beijing Nangong Municipal Solid Waste Incinerator, and would like to seek an opportunity to develop a frank dialogue with your bank.

    according to our information, there are widespread problems associated with the use of waste incineration technology in China. Some aspects of environmental hygiene facilities in Beijing, which Germany has helped construct, are also worthy of re-examination. If these already existing problems are not addressed, resolved, or taken seriously by the responsible parties, the implementation of the Nangong Waste Incinerator project could harm the public interest of Beijing residents. It would also contradict your bank’s investment principles and harm the international reputation of the German government and companies.

    In China municipal solid waste incineration is already an environmental pollution source that cannot be ignored. First, it is commonly known that the burning of waste will produce and emit dioxin-type pollutants. The Chinese government’s “People’s Republic of China National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants” lists municipal solid waste incineration as an emissions source whose control must be prioritised.[3] In 2009 academics from the China Urban Construction Design & Research Institute published an article stating that in 2007 the estimated airborne dioxin emissions from municipal solid waste incineration (there were less than 70 incinerators in operation in that year) in China was 157.93g TEQ (toxicity equivalent), which was a big increase on the 2004 figure of 125.8g TEQ. For comparison, in 1994 airborne dioxin emissions from municipal solid waste incineration in Germany were only 30g TEQ. It is estimated that this figure has been below 0.5g TEQ since the beginning of the 21st Century (around 70 municipal solid waste incinerators are running in Germany now). [4]In the same year, scholars from the Chinese Academy of Sciences published the results of their research into the airborne dioxin emissions from 19 municipal solid waste incinerators in China. According to their results, 13 incinerators did not meet the EU standard of 0.1ng TEQ/m3. Three incinerators even exceeded the Chinese national standard of 1ng TEQ/m3.[5] In addition, whilst investigating the environmental quality of soil around a waste incinerator in Shanghai’s Jiading District, researchers from the Shanghai Academy of Public Measurement discovered that dioxin levels were markedly higher than the surrounding area. Based on this, they made the following conclusion: waste incinerators are a source of dioxins in the Shanghai area’s land.[6]

    Apart from dioxins, China’s waste incinerators also emit a large amount of the heavy metal mercury. According to a 2011 article by academics from the South China University of Technology, mercury emissions from municipal solid waste incineration account for 21% of total man-made mercury emissions in the Pearl River Delta, second only to emissions from coal-burning (28%).[7] In other case studies, Chinese academics have discovered that airborne emissions from municipal solid waste incinerators have resulted in sharp increases in the mercury content of surrounding land and flora.[8]

    Why do waste incineration facilities that can be operated relatively safely in some European countries and Japan “fail to acclimatise” when they reach China? Apart from the complicated mix of Chinese waste (high moisture content, low burning value, large quantity of hazardous waste products), the low standard of engineering technology and a lack of investment in pollution control, we believe that the main reason is that government departments are seriously lacking supervision and control over waste incinerators.

    According to a 2011 article by scholars from the China Urban Construction Design & Research Institute, apart from a minority of cities including Shanghai and Guangzhou, the majority of fly ash from Chinese municipal solid waste incinerators is not handled safely.[9] Faced with this situation, it cannot be denied that there has been negligence from supervisory departments. The media has also reported cases of waste incinerators operating in breach of standards. For example: fly ash from the Macau Waste Incinerator was improperly dumped, ash residue from the Shenzhen Nanshan Waste Incinerator flowed into a black brick yard, and leachate from the Shenzhen Nanshan and Laohukeng waste incinerators was dumped directly into the sea without treatment. A programme televised by Shenzhen TV revealed that in May 2011 an incinerator operated by the Herrel Group in Sichuan was fined 50,000 Renminbi by the Chengdu City Environmental Protection Bureau for failing to adhere to regulations concerning the reporting of fly ash production, transportation and handling. However, in July the Herrel Group and the Environmental Protection Bureau “agreed to mediate” and the fine would not be enforced. We can say that these incidents have resulted from a lack of government supervision and control.

    In addition, some important supervision and control information concerning the operation of incinerators is frequently not publicly disclosed in a timely manner, and monitoring data are not completely trustworthy. From February to April of this year the environmental non-governmental organisation Wuhu Ecology Centre applied to China’s 31 provinces, cities, and autonomous regions’ environmental protection bureaus and the Ministry of Environmental Protection for the release of a list naming companies that emit large quantities of dioxins (waste incinerators count as major emission source companies). However, only six provinces and cities’ environmental protection bureaus responded meaningfully.[10] As to the monitoring data concerning waste incinerator emissions of harmful pollutants (dioxins, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, PM2.5), it is extremely rare for environmental protection departments to voluntarily release this information or to do so in response to an information disclosure request application. Some scholars have emphasised that most data in scientific research articles concerning legal dioxin emissions from waste incinerators is based on measurements taken under the most favourable conditions.[11] As a result, it is questionable whether or not these data can represent the normal operating situation of waste incinerators in China.

    Because waste incineration in China has already resulted in significant amounts of pollution, and due to insufficient supervision and control and a lack of transparency, waste incineration projects in many urban and rural locations face increasingly strong opposition from local residents. Some opposition activities have even evolved into serious street protests, involving urban residents in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Nanjing, and residents from towns or villages in locations including Likeng Village in Guangzhou’s Taihe Township, Pingwang Township in Jiangsu’s Wujiang, and Huangtutang Village in Wuxi’s Donggang Township. It can be said that waste incinerators cannot avoid causing anxiety to local residents wherever they are planned.


    Residents of an industrial town in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong are banding together in protest over plans to build a waste incinerator on their doorstep, local sources said on Tuesday.

    More than 1,000 local people turned out for a town meeting late on Monday, amid rising anger and concerns over the health effects of pollution from the planned Humen plant, according to a local village committee member surnamed Zhou.

    "There were about 1,000 people there, including bosses from nearby factories and local people," Zhou said in an interview on Tuesday. "All of them were against the planned incinerator, which would have a huge impact on Xinwei [village]," he said.

    Zhou said the township government had tried to keep the news under wraps following a campaign on the part of local residents, who wrote more than 10,000 complaint letters about the plans in recent months.

    "Now it has come out that they are planning to start work at the location they originally planned for, following an environmental impact assessment," he said.

    The government wants to build the Humen Waste Disposal Plant at Dalingshan, just 650 meters from Xinwei and Dapaizhai villages, just 3.8 kilometers from the Henggang reservoir, which supplies Houjie township with drinking water.

    Villagers to Battle Waste Plant

    China sees growing activism over environment and health concerns.


    From S China Morning Post on 12 July 2012:

    Three pilot rubbish-sorting schemes kicked off in Guangzhou last week, with officials and the media going all out to promote them as a long-term solution to mountains of waste engulfing the city.

    But following strong opposition to government plans to build five incinerators in the city, the launch of the pilot schemes has met with a mixed response.

    Ma Tian, a Panyu district resident, said he noticed that another rubbish bin of a different colour was placed in front of his building about a month ago, but he had no idea what it was for.

    'We just put garbage in whichever bin is not full,' he said, adding that he had noticed that the garbage collectors just piled the rubbish into one truck anyway.

    It is not the first time the city has attempted to introduce garbage sorting. It introduced bins for sorted rubbish more than 10 years ago, with little impact, and then ran a pilot programme in its Yuexiu district two years ago, again without much success.

    Peng Peng, deputy director of the Guangdong Society of Economic Reform, attributed the previous failures to a lack of accompanying measures and publicity.

    'Although residents sorted their garbage, the waste was still mixed together in the process of collecting and transporting,' he said.

    'The garbage sorting was practically meaningless.'


    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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    From Voice of America:

    Environmental protests have replaced land grabs as the main source of unrest in parts of the country, according to Chinese officials.

    Grassroots campaigners in China are increasingly using official channels to push for more transparency when it comes to the environment.

    Thomas Johnson, a researcher specializing in Chinese environmental policy at the City University of Hong Kong, says one example of this ongoing struggle is a waste incinerator near the coastal city of Qinhuangdao, in China's northern province of Hebei.

    City governments are under great pressure to solve their mounting trash problems, and incineration is an increasingly popular choice. The central government aims to have 300 trash-burning plants in operation by 2015 – twice as many as now. But opposition from local communities has halted work on many plants, at least temporarily.

    “Even if they encounter opposition, it is unlikely that local governments or construction companies will say clearly that they will not build the incinerators,” said Mao Da, a researcher at Beijing Normal University who studies solid-waste treatment techniques. “Between the developers' attitude and citizens' persistent opposition, we sometimes realize that the chance of completing some of these plants is very low."

    Mao says the Chinese public does not trust the government to enforce technology and safety standards for incinerators, and there is growing concern about the potentially grave risk posed by increasing airborne concentrations of dioxin and other poisons.

    Chinese Incinerators Spark Public Protests



    from S China Morning Post, 6 July 2013:

    Guiyang residents plan protest against waste incinerator

    Guiyang residents plan to march on a local government headquarters today to protest against a planned incinerator to be built near residential areas in the Guizhou capital.

    Organisers expect 300 people to turn out to voice their opposition to the plant, which they say will emit toxic air pollution and contaminate their water supply.

    One organiser said the group wanted the government to move the site at least 10 kilometres from residential areas.

    The current location for the incinerator is just 3 kilometres from a community of around 50,000 people, including schools and a hospital, on the northern side of the city.

    A public hearing on the environmental impact assessment for the incinerator had been planned for Monday, but has been postponed indefinitely.

    A spokesman for the local ecological construction bureau said by phone yesterday that the agency had been overwhelmed with registrations and was trying to find a larger venue for the hearing.

    Garbage incineration is often associated with high emissions of dioxin gases, which are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and cause cancer, according to the World Health Organisation.

    "People can be exposed to these pollutants via inhalation or by touching the soil or eating the food grown locally", said Mao Da, a researcher with Nature University, a Beijing-based environmental group.

    Mao said high concentrations of pollutants usually persist up to 3 kilometres from an incinerator. Although concentrations fall beyond that radius, they are still not necessarily safe.

    "There is some evidence that Chinese incinerators emit very high levels of dioxins and mercury," Mao said.

    "So if we evaluate the distance based on the Chinese reality, it will be very different from standards in other countries like Japan, Germany and Denmark."


    Another incinerator protest in China, again reported in S China Morning Post:

    About 10,000 people gathered yesterday in a township under Huadu district, Guangzhou, to demonstrate against plans to build a refuse incinerator in the national hub for leather-goods manufacturing.

    … The sea of people appeared to stretch about a kilometre along the roads.

    "We are all very upset. The incinerator is only 500 metres from my home. I have two children and I don't want them to develop health problems in a few years," said a 33-year-old father of two who grew up in Qianjin, which he said has about 500 residents. "Over half of the world's handbags are made here – Shiling is polluted enough and can't handle an incinerator."

    Last summer, hundreds of residents of Qingyuan and Guangzhou took to the streets to protest against the project even before site details were announced. It was one of the largest protests against government plans to build incinerators in Guangzhou.

    By 2015, Guangzhou plans to build five new garbage incinerators, in addition to the existing one in Likeng in Baiyun district.


    and another report on a Guangzhou incinerator protest, in S China Morning Post:

    Violent clashes over plan for incinerator in Guangzhou

    Mimi Lau

    Suspected protest leaders rounded up after four injured in running battles with police as thousands take to the streets of Guangzhou

    Riot police rounded up about a dozen people late last night in a raid on Qianjin village, Guangzhou, the site of a planned incinerator, after violent clashes earlier in the day.

    Officers moved in hours after police used force to disperse thousands of protesters in Huadu district following a series of running battles. At least four protesters were injured during protests involving as many as 10,000 people at times.

    It was the third large-scale rally in two weeks to fight the proposed refuse incinerator in Shiling township, a national hub for leather-goods manufacturing.

    Protesters said the city should learn a lesson from Likeng village in the city's Baiyun district. Residents there complain that the air, ground and water supply have been severely polluted by two incinerators there.

    "If we don't keep on fighting, there will be no home to go back to," said a 30-year-old Shiling bag maker. "We don't want to be the next Likeng, move the incinerator elsewhere and work on other ways to reduce garbage."

    Such environmental protests have been on the rise across the mainland. The Huadu clashes come just days after large protests in the Guangdong city of Jiangmen forced local officials to cancel plans for a uranium processing plant.

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