Nearly three years after plans to build an incinerator in Guangzhou's Panyu district triggered massive protests, authorities have invited tenders to build the plant in a different part of the district.
According to an urban solid-waste-management plan for 2010 to 2020, the district government has proposed that the waste incinerator be operating by 2014 in Dagang town, at the southern end of Panyu, The Southern Metropolis News reported yesterday. The plant was originally planned for the northern end of the district.
Two other towns - Dongchong and Dashi - were listed as backup options. The district government said the location would be selected within two weeks and public feedback would be sought only after the site was confirmed.
Guangzhou's rubbish problem is worsening as waste continues to pile up. The city's main landfill in Xingfeng county is overflowing and faces imminent closure.
In 2009, Panyu officials announced a plan to build the incinerator in Dashi, which borders Haizhu district, but in November of that year the proposal faced intense opposition from nearby residents. More than 10,000 signatures were collected, and hundreds of angry property owners, concerned about their health and the negative effects on real estate prices, took the streets.
Among the protesters were staff from The Southern Metropolis News. They, like other residents, had concerns. The paper then also published a front-page piece about the impact of an incinerator in Likeng village in northern Guangzhou's Baiyun district. That incinerator was three years old at the time.
The proposed incinerator in Panyu is designed to process 2,500 tonnes of solid waste a day, and the capacity is expected to be raised to 2,900 tonnes by 2020 and 4,000 tonnes by 2030. The incinerator would probably serve residents in the Panyu and Nansha districts.
Panyu resident Li Liyuan, 32, who has been living in the northern part of the district for eight years and who took part in the 2009 protest, said she felt relieved to learn that the facility would be built much farther away.
'I am worried for the residents living in Dagang, as the incinerator will affect their lives, but they might not be as organised and resourceful as northern Panyu's middle-class residents to oppose such a plan,' Li said
According to figures from 2010, Beijing and Shanghai each produced about 20,000 tonnes of rubbish a day. Central Guangzhou was generating at least 8,000 tonnes a day, with 7,000 tonnes going to the Xingfeng landfill and 1,000 tonnes to the incinerator in Likeng.