Shenzhen delegates demand closure of Hong Kong landfill sites after choking smog hits city
Delegates from Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress have urged Hong Kong to shut down all of its landfill sites close to the border after smoke arising from a fire at one of the sites choked the city last week.
Dozens of city’s legislation deputies on Monday appeared at the city’s congress demanding the government to initiate a full-scale hazard assessment after polluted air hit the region, said the Southern Metropolis Daily on Tuesday.
The choking smog that filled the air came from a level-two fire on Friday night at a waste-recycling site in Fanling’s Ta Kwu Ling, just 1.5 kilometres from the Hong Kong - Shenzhen border. Fire categories in Hong Kong are classed between one and five, with five being the most serious. The Hong Kong fire department dispatched 23 fire engines and put out the fire within around two hours. No casualties were reported.
However strong odours resembling that of burned rubbish have since been reported in Luohu, Futian, and Nanshan districts in southern Shenzhen, prompting a number of people to complain on social networking websites.
The Shenzhen city government confirmed on its official microblog on Saturday that the choking smog was a result of the landfill fire. Data from the Shenzhen official meteorological bureau’s website showed a surge in levels of small inhalable particles PM2.5 that are hazardous to health shortly after the fire broke out in Hong Kong.
Yang Qin, one of the protesting delegates, told the Southern Metropolis Daily that the incident was “unprecedented in Shenzhen history” and demanded the government to publicly announce the assessment results.
“Shenzhen [government] should have clear acknowledgment and counter-measures regarding these pollution sources,” Yang was quoted as saying.
“The fire incident is an alarm for Shenzhen. [We] urge Hong Kong government to re-evaluate the future impact of landfill locations to Shenzhen and call upon [Hong Kong] to shut all of its landfill sites along the border,” Yang reportedly said on behalf of the protesting delegates.
Hong Kong’s rubbish dumps, many located close to the border with Shenzhen, have increasingly angered residents across the border.
In July, two Shenzhen residents paid a visit to Hong Kong to lodge a complaint about the Tuen Mun landfill extension plan. They said the extension plan of the site, just six kilometres from their home of Nanshan district, was “unacceptable” and would “only lead to a dead end”.