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Tackling pollution at the right source

By Zhang Zhao | China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-18 08:19

On a winter day along the banks of the Songhua River in Jilin city, the temperature can drop as low as -20 C, but it is still a paradise for wild ducks.

Local grassroots conservationist Ren Jianguo said that he has witnessed increasing numbers and species of wild ducks to come to Jilin in recent years due to government effort to improve the local ecological system.

According to a water pollution control blueprint for the Songhua River over the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), the city plans 10 major projects this year to reduce urban sewage and industrial pollution treatment, and all have started construction.

Another 10 projects for the next year are under preparation.

Ecological protection of the Songhua Lake region has attracted 100 million yuan ($16.23 million) in investment, more than 82 million yuan of it planned for a wetland restoration project.

This year the city's environmental protection bureau began much more monitoring and management programs targeting 25 local heavy polluters that produced 2.5 million tons of solid waste in the first half of the year.

But now more than 2.1 million tons have been reused as resources.

The government is promoting new building materials made of fine coal dust and slag - before just refuse and pollutants - to replace traditional clay bricks. Manufacturers of such materials can enjoy preferential tax policies.

To reduce source discharges and increase efficiency, the government now has a project to integrate different heating networks.

First Auto Works' operation in the city, Xinglong Heating Co and the new Snow Breweries plant have completed integration of their heat pipe networks. The project is expected to help reduce 39,000 tons of solid waste a year.

At the same time, the government has also initiated a series of campaigns to improve the environment in the countryside by focusing on protection of drinking water sources, treatment of residential solid waste and control of pollution from livestock.

Nearly 100 villages in 33 townships in the city are involved in the campaign this year.

Local authorities have poured 53.2 million yuan into building 95 garbage sorting centers, 25 compost sites and 34 warning signs while purchasing more than 500 garbage trucks and adding nearly 4,600 new garbage receptacles.

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