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Beijing Combats Garbage Crisis With New Trash Incinerator

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Beijing combats garbage crisis with new trash incinerator Beijing’s accumulation of garbage has become a pressing concern. Pic: Wang Jiuliang. By Kyle Lawrence Mullin Oct 24, 2!4 Beijing’s ecologists say officials will worsen the city’s deadliest environmental issue in their efforts to solve another. In November, the world’s biggest trash incinerator will begin operating at full capacity in Lujiashan, a small locale northwest of the Chinese capital. he facility, which has been running in te
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  Beijing combats garbage crisis  with new trash incinerator   Beijing’s accumulation of garbage has become a pressing concern. Pic: Wang Jiuliang. By   Kyle Lawrence Mullin   Oct 24, 2!4 Beijing’s ecologists say officials will worsen the city’s deadliest environmental issue in their efforts to solve another. In November, the world’s biggest trash incinerator will  begin operating at full capacity in Lujiashan, a small locale northwest of the Chinese capital. he facility, which has been running in test mode all year, was built by !hougang, a company that operated a gigantic steel factory  in same region until #$$,   when it was shuttered because of its pollution output. %ang &iulang is a photojournalist who has won numerous awards for his documentation of Beijing’s landfills, a project that revealed a local perimeter of trash that he dubbed the 'seventh ring road,( implying that it coincided with the city’s other circular highways. In an interview with )sian Correspondent, he says that Beijing’s rubbish woes are still of grave concern, but adds that !hougang’s incinerator is far from the proper solution. “ he only advantage will be its ability to *uic+ly solve the problem of garbage accumulation, meaning Beijing might not have to build more landfills,( %ang tells )sian Correspondent.Lin ou-hu, roject /fficer of the solid waste team at 0riends of Nature, agrees, adding1 'It can bring a short2term solution to our solid waste crisis. But it could lead toa long2term air, water, and ash waste crisis.(!pecifically, %ang is concerned that the incinerator will unleash new pollutants in the air as its flames consume a melee of waste. “ Beijing’s garbage collectors do not do a rigorous enough job classifying wet and dry garbage, garbage with a high level of moisture or with low energy value,( he says, adding1 '!o, if the burning temperature is ever less than ideal, it will be difficult to eliminate the production of to3ic gases li+e polychlorinated biphenyls, or CB’s.(Lin agrees, adding1 'In China we have a lot of water in garbage, so when you burn it  you have to add a lot of gas in these machines to +eep the temperature down.( !he saysthat spi+es in temperature can lead to more pollution, and adds that she is concerned that the !hougang facilities supervisors will lac+ the managerial s+ills needed to regulate those temperatures.  Wang Jiuliang. Pic: Wang Jiuliang.  )ccording to the )gency for o3ic !ubstances 4 5isease 6egistry , CB’s are often used in electrical e*uipment, and linger in the air after incineration because they do not  brea+ down easily. he agency added that those gasses can damage the liver and immune system of anyone who inhales them in large *uantities. he study also concluded that children’s motor s+ills and short term memories can be impaired if they are e3posed to the to3in.Lin says the incineration of that trash can release other to3ins li+e mercury into Beijing’s already notoriously polluted air. !he adds that this method could also 'waste resources7 particularly organic materials that should be composted and go bac+ to the soil.(!hougang supporters point out that the incinerator’s biggest asset lies not in its trash disposal, but in the energy that will be generated from that burning waste 8!hougang declined to comment for this story before press time9. )ccording to a recent article in he Beijinger1 'the incineration:will produce ; # million +ilowatt hours of power annually, the e*uivalent of $;#,### tons of coal: <ven better news is that the plant is e*uipped with state2of2the2art environmental controls: If operated correctly, we could be loo+ing at less air pollution than the $;#,### tons of coal burning it will displace.(=owever, %ang says1 ')s for the heat generated during incineration, the benefits of that thermal energy will not be sufficient to offset the burning of the waste inserted.(   %ang adds that there are financial incentives in finding an alternative to !hougang’s incinerator1 'I do not thin+ it is a wise choice to blindly promote the burning of trash. he building of an incineration plant, and subse*uent operation and maintenance, needs a huge investment.(!till, %ang concedes that Beijing’s accumulation of garbage> which has reached a staggering rate of ? million tons per year> is a pressing concern which must be given serious consideration. =e goes on to describe the best option to do so, in his opinion1 'I believe that the establishment of a strict classification mechanism is an effective way to solve the garbage problem in Beijing and China. In other words, there should be government2led enterprises that teach the public how to classify their garbage in order to greatly reduce their amount of waste.(osted by havam
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