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Health & Environment

Millions of tonnes of rural refuse are dumped in China’s waterways each year

China River PollutionMillions of tonnes of untreated refuse from the countryside end up in rivers and lakes annually.

Many were shocked when thousands of dead pigs were found floating on Shanghai’s Huangpu River this month, but animal carcasses are not the only things that end up in the nation’s waterways.

Rivers and lakes are among the major dumping sites of some 190 million tonnes of household waste generated in rural areas every year, most of which are casually dumped without being recycled or properly treated, according to a bill submitted to the annual session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing last week.

Research by the China Association for Promoting Democracy, one of the mainland’s eight non-communist political parties, shows that most household refuse in the rural areas is piled on the side of roads, dumped under bridges, in fields or on river banks, or simply burned.

Researchers said the variety and amount of rural waste had risen markedly over the past decade as living standards improved.

In rural areas, household refuse used to comprise mainly of kitchen waste and ash from burning coal or firewood, but Wang Jinxia, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences‘ Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy, said there was now more plastic packaging, sanitation products and even furniture in the thrown-away waste.

Wang said the limited amount of household waste, most of it biodegradable, could be absorbed by nature’s self-cleaning capacity in the past, but now the amount and variety of trash had far exceeded that capacity, threatening the environment.

“It [dumping refuse in rivers] is a rather prevalent phenomenon … in some extreme cases, the rivers are even clogged,” Wang said.

In the past month, photos have been posted online in a campaign to record polluted rivers, some completely covered by garbage. A stream in the Yongding county of Fujian province was used as a dump for waste including glass bottles, plastic bags, used lanterns and even furniture.

Last month, a Zhejiang businessman offered a 200,000 yuan (HK$247,000) reward to an environmental official in Ruian in challenging him to swim in a river full of household refuse and waste rubber from a shoe factory.

Every summer, 150,000 to 200,000 cubic metres of refuse is retrieved from the reservoir above the massive Three Gorges Dam to prevent it from jamming the floodgates, official media reports say. The waste include tree branches washed into the Yangtze by torrential rains, but most of it is household refuse from families living along the river’s upper reaches. Some rivers in cities have also become casual dump sites. For example, The Beijing News reported this month that the authorities had retrieved more than 10,000 corncobs from the moat of the Forbidden City – among the four tonnes of refuse that tourists threw into the Tongzi River.

Some sections of the waterway in the old town of Lijiang , a popular city for tourism in Yunnan province, were also found to be congested with plastic bottles, disposable tableware and other refuse, China National Radio reported last year, while some restaurants were accused of discharging their wastewater – containing grease and detergent – directly into the river.

The mainland banned the dumping of household refuse and industrial waste in rivers, lakes, canals and reservoirs in 2004 when the Solid Wastes Pollution Prevention Law was amended.

But researcher Wang, who did a survey of about 120 villages in seven provinces in 2010, said there was no such government oversight in some regions.

The high cost of refuse collection and treatment had also discouraged some local governments from tackling the problem, Wang said. For instance, a town with 50,000 residents would need to spend at least 3.5 million yuan a year for proper waste disposal, Wang said.

“Without a public service to collect and cart away the trash, people in rural villages have no choice but to dump it in the waterways or fields,” she said.

Source: SCMP – “Millions of tonnes of rural refuse are dumped in waterways a year, bill says”

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee


3 thoughts on “Millions of tonnes of rural refuse are dumped in China’s waterways each year

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.


    Posted by OyiaBrown | March 21, 2013, 11:36 pm


  1. Pingback: 28,000 rivers disappeared in China | China Daily Mail - May 2, 2013

  2. Pingback: Chinese River Mysteriously Turns Bloody Red Overnight | China Daily Mail - July 26, 2014

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