TV show raises stink over illegal rubbish dump after Chinese villagers’ complaints ignored for years

Local officials spurred into action when environmental blight exposed by national broadcaster

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 April, 2018, 2:54pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 April, 2018, 2:54pm

Residents in one community in southwestern China had complained for years about the fetid illegal dumping ground blighting their village but it took a report on prime-time television to spur the authorities to do something about it.

Legions of clean-up workers and equipment materialised in the village in Shuangliu district in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on the weekend after China Central Television’s report on Friday night about a 66,700 square metre pond that had been transformed into a rubbish tip.

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Construction and household waste had been dumped at the site for years, with the rubbish piled five metres high on one bank, the report said.

The waste not only created a stink in summer but became a breeding ground for massive swarms of mosquitoes.

Despite repeated complaints over the years, no action was taken to remedy the situation, the report said.

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But within hours of the report going to air, district officials were surveying the site and the next day 100 workers and 50 excavators and trucks were preparing to clear the area, provincial news portal reported.

The household waste would be moved to a power plant or landfill, while the pond water would be processed down the track.

Health authorities also sent in teams to kill the mosquitoes, the report said.

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According to housing authority data, villages across the country generate about 150 million tonnes of rubbish annually, with only half of it treated and the rest directly dumped into the environment.