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July 6, 2016

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Vessels ‘caught secretly dumping tons of garbage’

THE authorities in Shanghai and Suzhou have launched a joint investigation after tons of garbage were secretly transported from Shanghai to Xishan Island in Taihu Lake in the neighboring Jiangsu Province, officials said yesterday.

Eight vessels carrying about 4,000 tons of garbage docked at the wharf near a drug rehabilitation clinic within the Suzhou Taihu National Tourism Vacation Zone on Friday, and their crews were about to dump it on an abandoned embankment when the authorities intervened, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the tourism zone’s administrative committee, which held a press conference yesterday.

The vessels were seized by the maritime authorities at the scene. The garbage, believed to be a mixture of domestic and construction waste, and the ships carrying it were from Shanghai’s Jiading District, Xinhua said, citing local authorities.

More than 20,000 tons of waste consisting mostly of construction materials were also found across 2,400 square meters of the bank, according to local authorities.

The water quality near the dumping area has been tested, and no pollution was found.

The owners of the vessels said the garbage was transported by trucks to the vessels in Jiading before being transported to Xishan Island, and it was to be collected by a construction company doing work nearby, according to the report.

The vessels’ owners and the intermediaries involved in the transportation of the garbage have been detained by police, Xinhua reported, and the construction company is under investigation.

The Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau yesterday said it had deployed a team that will work with Suzhou police and local authorities in the investigation, adding that those responsible will be severely punished.

It is illegal to transport domestic garbage produced in Shanghai to sites outside the city, according to regulations. Construction garbage that meets the city’s reuse criteria must be reported and registered before being transported to other cities.

In August last year, four men were arrested over the dumping of thousands of tons of waste from Shanghai, including toxic materials, on riverbanks in the neighboring city of Wuxi in Jiangsu Province. A verdict has not yet been reached.


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