Thousands of Chinese residents took to the streets this past weekend to protest a proposed garbage incinerator in Boluo County, Guangdong. A total of 24 protestors were detained on Saturday.
With a growing consumerist population, China faces a mounting trash problem that’s further exacerbated by massive shipments of trash imported from other developed countries.
In hopes of turning the trash into renewable energy, the Chinese government has pushed a number of waste-to-energy projects, many of which have been protested by Chinese residents fearful of their toxic byproducts. The clash against Bolou County’s plans for a garbage incinerator plant is the latest such conflict.
The Boluo government says the proposed incinerator will generate power by burning 700 metric tons of waste of day and will be equipped with scrubbers to keep emitted pollutants to a minimum. Bolou County residents disenchanted by the country’s promises to safely and cleanly dispose of trash were not convinced.
“Of course, the government would say it’s safe,” said one of the residents who helped write the public appeal to the New York Times. “But if the river here is polluted, then we’ll all be harmed, and there’s also the problem of air pollution from the dioxins.”
According to the Boluo government, about a thousand protestors took to the street on Saturday however, residents claim the number was at least 10,000.
Previously on Shanghaiist: Hangzhou halts waste plant construction following bloody protests
By Lucy Wang