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Villagers fear pollution from waste treatment

VILLAGERS living near a poisonous trash disposal center in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality 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, today'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 then burying the residue. Special treatment was due to have been given to the waste water and gas discharged in the incineration.

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

Residents reported their worries to the village officials but failed to get a response. On April 9, they blocked the gate to the center and had interrupted normal operations since then, the newspaper said.

City leaders ordered residents living close to the center to be evacuated in July. But villagers said no any consequent measures have ever been taken.


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