But the critics say landfill is no more than a short-term solution for Beijing Beijing officials are struggling to cope with tonnes of human and household waste that are being illegally dumped in the city on a daily basis. The local government has announced a campaign to move more than 14,000 tonnes of waste that is lying untreated in the city. But waste management experts have criticised the plan, which relies exclusively on landfills to tackle the enormous waste problem. Under the campaign, the authorities have undertaken to clean up the 73 largest illegal rubbish dumps located within the city boundary by 2005. The campaign does not cover countless smaller dumps. 'The people who dumped the garbage there in the first place are to blame,' said Liu Jianguo, an expert in waste disposal and treatment at Tsinghua University. 'But the authorities also have a responsibility to keep the city clean and deal with the issue of waste properly.' The illegal dumps developed over the years at abandoned construction sites and wasteland areas. The illegal waste will be taken to the suburbs and buried in one of five large landfill sites. The illegal dumps have to be cleaned up,' said Mr Liu. 'But simply burying our waste in landfill sites is not a long term-solution.' Mr Liu said waste disposal should be spread evenly between three cost-effective methods: landfill, incineration and recycling organic material for fertiliser. These were the only options available on the mainland at present due to financial constraints, he said. Beijing's 13 million residents generate more than 14,100 tonnes of waste each day and that quantity is increasing every year. Nearly 90 per cent of the waste produced is buried at the five outlying landfill sites. Only the remaining 10 per cent is either incinerated or recycled. Mr Liu accused the authorities of choosing the cheapest option in landfill and said that with the quantity of waste increasing by 3 per cent every year, the government was desperate to find new sites. As part of its commitment to host a 'green Olympics' the government has set a general 30 per cent target for recycling waste by 2008, and has undertaken to recycle 50 per cent of the waste generated during the Games.