Several thousand people took to the streets in the town of Luoyang in Guangdong yesterday, some clashing with police, to protest against a proposed waste incinerator, participants and witnesses said. The protest in the town in Boluo county was the latest demonstration of mainlanders' growing wariness about the environmental hazards of such projects - and of the fact they lack public forums to voice their concerns or to affect government decision-making. "I am worried about the impact it may have on the water source," said a local resident who only gave his family name, Chen, for fear of possible government retaliation. "Burning will definitely cause air pollution. We are concerned about the health of our children." The demonstration came four months after a massive protest over a proposed waste incinerator in the eastern city of Hangzhou , in Zhejiang province, left at least 10 demonstrators and 29 police officers injured. Populous and increasingly affluent cities on the mainland face the daunting task of properly disposing of huge amounts of waste generated by the growing middle class. Experts and central government officials believe high-standard incinerators can be a feasible solution to ensure public sanitation. Yet members of the public are not ready to accept government proposals for waste incinerators despite repeated assurances that such projects will have minimal environmental impact. Rather, they remain deeply sceptical about their local governments. Observers have said that a lack of transparency and meaningful public engagement have sowed the distrust. "There also have been some old scores to settle, as the governments have promised the use of some technology, but, as it should turn out, the technology does not get implemented properly in operation," said Wu Yixiu, head of the environmental group Greenpeace's toxics campaign in East Asia. Some of the demonstrators and witnesses said yesterday's spontaneous protest in Luoyang, the Boluo county seat, was orderly until police snatched banners from the protesters, dispersed crowds by force and detained some demonstrators. They complained that the government had censored media coverage of the protest and banned those on public payrolls from joining it. Telephone calls to the local government and police in Boluo were unanswered. Photos provided by witnesses and those circulating on social media on the mainland showed protesters holding up banners opposing the incinerator as they marched through Luoyang's streets, despite occasional rain showers. The protesters said the crowds marching in the streets shouted slogans such as "Protect the homeland" and "Refuse trash."