Guangzhou shutting incinerators

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 December, 2009, 12:00am

Days after the Guangzhou government was forced to scrap a plan to build a rubbish incinerator near a stylish residential district in Panyu district, authorities say four more will close before the city hosts the Asian Games to improve air quality and reduce foul odours.

Small-scale refuse incinerators in Lanhe, Dongchong, Yuwotou and Shiji towns are scheduled to be shut down by the district government before the Games, Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday. The multi-sport event runs from November 10 to 27 next year.

Incinerators have become a flashpoint between Panyu government officials and local residents, with 500 people taking to the streets last month to protest against a plan to build a large incinerator in Huijiang village.

The Ministry of Public Security and Guangzhou government had said earlier that they would make all-out efforts to prevent protests during the Games.

The plan for the Huijiang incinerator, which was supposed to burn 2,000 tonnes of rubbish a day, was scrapped earlier this month as a result of the protest.

Residents in other parts of Panyu also complained that the existing incinerators were affecting their health.

The authorities yesterday said they decided to shut down more incinerators simply to ensure clean air quality as the Asian Games Village, which will house international athletes, is in Panyu.

The government also launched a publicity campaign and complained that the district now faces an urgent crisis with overflowing rubbish.

Guangzhou Daily yesterday said about six small-scale incinerators in small towns like Dashi, Nancun and Dagang were already shut down and the urban solid waste was buried in the Huoshaogang landfill.

This pushes the daily processing capability of the landfill from 300 tonnes to 1,200 tonnes daily. This means it is expected to be filled up in two years.

Some current rubbish treatment facilities would be upgraded and improved but others, like the four small scale incinerators, will be closed, the report said. Professor He Guowei of Guangzhou University's Environmental Science and Engineering Institute expects more garbage facilities and factories to be shut before the Games in a desperate attempt to clean the air.

'For sure they will be closed as they produce foul smell. Many factories will also be shut down before the Asian Games to bring up the air quality, just like what happened in the Beijing Olympics last year.'