Chinese drug rehab centre boss jailed for allowing 20,000 tonnes of waste to be dumped near lake

The piles of rubbish, which included construction waste, household refuse and electronic waste, caused an estimated 8.2 million yuan (US$1.2 million) worth of damage

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 July, 2018, 3:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 July, 2018, 11:42am

A deputy director of a drug addiction rehabilitation centre in eastern China has been jailed for three and a half years after he allowed thousands of tonnes of waste to be dumped on an island in one of the country’s largest freshwater lakes, a news website reported.

Local residents had complained that over 20,000 tonnes of construction waste, household refuse and electronic waste had been dumped on Xishan Island in Lake Tai between May and June 2016.

The piles of rubbish – all of which had been transported to the lake from Shanghai – caused an estimated 8.2 million yuan (US$1.2 million) worth of damage, while the clean-up operation cost a further 225,000 yuan, Sunday’s report by said.

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On Wednesday, prosecutors in Suzhou, Jiangsu province announced that Han Jianlin, the centre’s deputy director had been convicted of fraud.

They said he had signed a contract that allowed the waste to be dumped next to the rehab centre.

Han’s subordinate Zhang Bin has also been jailed for three years and nine months for taking bribes from a local construction firm and then allowing them to dump their waste at the site.

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Wang Juming and Lu Xiaodi, the owners of the construction company, had already been given jail terms – of five and a half years and five years respectively – for severe contamination of the environment.

Lake Tai has previously had serious problems with pollution.

In 2007 potentially deadly blooms of blue-green algae appeared on the lake, forcing the five million residents of Wuxi city to drink bottled water for six days.