Friday, March 26, 2010

China's Trash Troubles Mount

China is facing a pretty monumental problem with its trash. Beijing is running out of disposal sites and expects its landfill to be full in four years. Recycling is an afterthought and barely 4% of waste is recycled, compared with 36% for New York City or 24% for London.

China's solution to its trash troubles? Spray guns that emit a deodorant to mask the pungent garbage smell.
No one loves that trash smell in the morning, and certainly not Beijing residents who have complained about a landfill at the city's edge. Chinese officials will respond to the Asuwei dump crisis by installing 100 deodorant guns that can literally cover up the problem temporarily with the sweeter smell of fragrance, The Guardian reports.

Each gun can spray gallons of fragrance per minute over distances of 164 feet (50 m), and are made by Chinese firms based on German and Italian technology. Officials also expect to add more plastic layers to cover the site and try to keep the smell down, but all these represent just temporary fixes for a city of 17-million people producing more trash than it can handle.

Recycling remains at a measly 4 percent of all rubbish for Beijing, compared to a 25 percent recycling rate for London or 36 percent for New York. A Beijing waste expert told The Guardian that landfill and treatment sites in Beijing would all fill up in just four years.
Waste incinerator projects have been stalled due to public opposition, but recycling programs have been a failure.

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