Nowhere for the garbage in Chinese capital

By Zhao Chunzhe (
Updated: 2009-12-30 15:45
Large Medium Small

China's capital city is running out of space to bury garbage, but plans to burn waste remain controversial over health concerns, reported.

The amount of household waste in Beijing increases each year by eight percent with the space required to dump it amounting to 500 mu (33 hectares). Beijing has a permanent population of 12 million with eight million more immigrants. The municipal infrastructure is being challenged by the ever expanding size of the city.

Garbage sorting is encouraged by the governments and good for the environment, but often people are reluctant to do so.

"Ninety percent of garbage in Beijing is buried so far. If we don't have more facilities, there will be no room for garbage four years later," said an unnamed governmental official in Beijing. "It's important that we burn the garbage," he added.

Some residents are opposed to burning garbage due to possible harm from dioxin emission. However, new information regarding the safety of burning waste has emerged from more experts. "As long as we adopt advanced equipments and techniques, the dioxin can be reduced to an acceptable level," said Wang Xiaohong, Dean of the School of Environmental Science and Engineering of Guangzhou University.