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March 9, 2015

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70% of city waste to be burned next year

SEVENTY percent of Shanghai’s household waste will be burned to generate electricity once four new waste incineration centers open next year, officials said yesterday.

City residents produce 22,000 tons of garbage a day and currently about 40 percent is processed at five waste incineration centers to produce electricity.

Incineration will become the main method of dealing with city waste due to limited land resources for burying garbage, said Zhang Yi, chief of Shanghai Environmental Sanitation Engineering Design Institute.

“If the four new incineration plants begin operations next year, 70 percent of city waste would be burned and used for electricity generation,” said Zhang.

“The rest would be buried or dealt with through other methods.”

Zhang added that incineration centers should be more open to public visits — with events such as open days — to assuage fears about emissions.

Concerns exist about emissions from incineration plants containing pollutants such as particulate matter, heavy metals, dioxins, furans and sulfur dioxide.

But the city’s waste managing center said standards at Shanghai’s waste utilization facilities are higher than national environmental standards and meet European levels.

Since 2010, Shanghai has promoted refuse sorting, making disposal more efficient, while campaigns to reduce the amount of household waste have helped control levels, said officials.

Before 2010, the amount of garbage produced by Shanghai residents was rising at up to 5 percent a year.

The four new plants currently being built are in the suburban districts of Songjiang, Fengxian, Jiading and Chongming County.

The five already in use are located in the Pudong New Area and Jinshan and Putuo districts.

“Incineration centers should invite the public to visit and show how garbage is being put to good use,” Zhang said.

For greater transparency, Pudong’s Shanghai Laogang Waste Utilization Company recently published data — including emissions — on its website.

The company can deal with 3,000 tons of household waste every day, and generates over 300 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year.


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