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article imageGiant, odiforous landfill in China deodorized

By Betty Kowall     Apr 11, 2010 in Environment
Beijiang - It's a twisted case of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' at a landfill outside Beijiang. Beijiang officials hope spraying perfume from hundreds of high-pressure nozzles around a major landfill can temporarily end complaints about the stink.
The giant cologne spray system will be put in place by May at the Asuwei dump site.
It is little more than a tonic for an urban area that is home to 17 million people and "generates 18,000 tonnes of waste every day..."
According to Wang Weiping, a waste expert in the city government,
All landfill and treatment sites in Beijing will be full in four years. That's how long it takes to build a treatment plant. So we need to act right now to resolve the issue.... It's necessary to restructure the current disposal system. We cannot rely on landfill anymore. It's a waste of space.
In terms of the summer of 2010 the approach is simpler and more direct. Chinese officials will respond to the Asuwei dump crisis by installing 100 deodorant guns that will cover up the problem temporarily with cologne.
Each gun can spray gallons of fragrance per minute over distances of 50 meters. They are made by Chinese firms based on German and Italian technology.
The approach is simpler and more direct but it is inherently flawed. The odor might be masked but the source of the odor remains unaddressed. At that source, waste, exceeds capacity of municipal disposal plants by 7,000 tonnes..." A campaign to increase recycling (only four per cent of municipal waste at present) to the 25 per cent that Great Britain processes would be more effective than perfume.
In practical terms increased processing (specifically incineration) is in the pipeline, hopefully:
City officials want to build more incinerators, but those have pollution problems of their own–six incinerator projects within Beijing have been put on hold due to public protests. So, till those projects are approved, or the till the government figures out another way to take out the collected trash, Beijing residents will just have to spritz and bear it.
Treehugger.com also pokes fun at the situation, "One solution would be aggressive waste reduction policies but where is the fun in that. Let's do it Schwarzenegger-style and fire a cannon at it!"
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