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December 31, 2009

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Health worries over waste site

VILLAGERS living near a poisonous trash disposal center in southwest China's Chongqing City complain their health is at risk because more than 1,000 tons of garbage have rotted untreated for eight months.

The center, in a remote mountainous area in Bicheng Town of the city's Bishan County, was put into trial operation at the end of last year, designed to decontaminate 80,000 tons of poisonous trash a year, yesterday's Chongqing Evening News reported.

Downtown Chongqing is estimated to produce more than 700,000 tons of trash each year, according to the local environmental authority, which didn't specify how much was hazardous, including pesticides, detergents, paints and chemicals.

The center was designed to decontaminate the waste before burning it at high temperatures and burying the residue. Waste water and gas discharged in the incineration were supposed to get special treatment.

But since the trash arrived at the plant, none had been treated, villager Wen Guangming said.

Residents complained to the village officials but failed to get a response. In April they blocked the gate to the center, and had interrupted normal operations since then.


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