China Daily and China Radio International both report today that Beijing will soon be void of space for trash from the 20 million people living in the Capital of the world’s most populous country. With an annual trash growth rate of 8%, landfills (i.e. Beijing’s main method of taking care of trash) are about to overflow, and disposal plants are already overworked.
As Beijing doesn’t have much space for new landfill, nor much time to establish new landfills, city officials have stated that they are considering incineration, a method highly unpopular among the public, who fear more pollution in an already terribly polluted city. (Illustrative pic can be found here, the real nerds should check out this twitter feed.)
The local government is trying to argue that incineration isn’t necessary a big polluter. Clearly, there are advantages of emissions from incineration facilities over toxic gas generated by landfills, but then again, science is always an argument. (A good account of the debate can be found in this wiki post.) What is of course more disheartening is that the Beijing government, similar to governments everywhere, seem to care less about figuring out how people in Beijing could generate less trash to begin with. 8% growth per year is no joke.