GUANGZHOU: Four small garbage incinerators in the city's southern district of Panyu will be shut down before the Asian Games open next November, authorities said yesterday.
The move aims to clean up the skies ahead of the major sporting event that starts on Nov 12.
The four incinerators will continue operations as the Games approach since a new comprehensive scheme of garbage treatment is yet to be issued, a Panyu district government website notice said.
Local authorities suspended construction of another large garbage incinerator, with a designed handling capacity of 2,000 tons of trash a day, early this month due to widespread opposition from residents over fears of health and environmental damage.
"Following the suspension of the project in Huijiang village, we have to delay plans to close these small incinerators," said Tan Yinghua, Party secretary of Panyu district.
Authorities originally planned to build the Huijiang incinerator to replace those small ones, Tan said.
"But now we have to let the small incinerators continue operations until new plans are issued. For sure, they won't be running too long," Tan said.
However, residents complain that the smaller projects, which are continuing operations, are still damaging the environment, even though the government has suspended the plan for a larger incinerator.
"The small ones pose greater threats to our health and environment," a resident surnamed Huang said.
The four garbage incinerators in Panyu, home to about 2.5 million people, were built a decade ago. Local authorities said earlier that the planned Huijiang project would not take off until 2012, after experts, government officials, residents and environmental assessments have been consulted.
Party secretary Tan said authorities were still contemplating if the project should be introduced at all.
"The decision will be taken only after all residents are consulted. We will improve transparency and invite more residents to get involved in the project," he said.