Municipal Solid Waste Management

Authored by: Thomas R. Johnson

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Policy in China

Print publication date:  April  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138831117
eBook ISBN: 9781315736761
Adobe ISBN:


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In 2014, the world's biggest waste-to-energy (WTE) incinerator began to operate on the site of a deserted lime quarry in the Mengtougou District of Beijing (Li 2014). The Lujiashan incinerator, which can handle 3,000 tons of waste per day, was completed in just two years – lightning speed for a project of this nature. Local officials claimed that the facility was an eco-friendly solution to Beijing's mounting waste problem. They highlighted in particular the incinerator's capacity to generate 420 million kilowatt hours of power per annum, the equivalent of 140,000 tons of standard coal (Li 2014). Yet others remained sceptical. Outspoken incineration critic and retired China Academy of Sciences researcher Zhao Zhangyuan criticized the project's expedited approval process – the 80 approvals required for the project to go ahead were obtained in three months, a process that would normally take several years (Zhao 2011; Li 2014). Others expressed concern that the plant's official name – the ‘Beijing Capital Steel Biomass Power Project’ – was indicative of officials' attempts to mislead a public that was becoming increasingly concerned about the construction of incinerators within close proximity to their homes (Meng 2011).

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