China turns to incinerators to curb trash

Aug. 12, 2009 at 1:35 AM
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BEIING, China, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- China's rapid economic growth in recent years has generated tons of trash, and officials are struggling with getting rid of it, scientists said.

In Beijing, officials say landfills have at most another five years before they are full to overflowing, The New York Times reported.

China has turned to incinerators. But there are no national standards and some incinerators, especially in poorer inland areas, are producing massive pollution.

Scientists in the United States say one-sixth of the mercury landing in North American waterways comes from Asia, much of it from China.

A study by the World Bank in 2005 said the amount of dioxin pumped into the atmosphere globally could double if China continued to build incinerators at the same rate and did not curb emissions.

In affluent cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, incinerators have been built to high standards. But residents have been protesting plans for new ones, the newspaper said.

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