China’s mega-dump already full – 25 years early

A worker prepares to cover the waste with a capping layer at the Tianziling landfill site on August 7, 2019 in HangzhouPicture copyright
Getty Pictures

Picture caption

A employee making use of a capping layer to a landfill website in Hangzhou


China’s largest dump is already full – 25 years forward of schedule.

The Jiangcungou landfill in Shanxi Province, which is the scale of round 100 soccer fields, was designed to take 2,500 tonnes of garbage per day.


However as an alternative it acquired 10,000 tonnes of waste per day – essentially the most of any landfill website in China.

China is among the world’s largest polluters, and has been struggling for years with the garbage its 1.four billion residents generate.

How huge is the landfill website?

The Jiangcungou landfill in Xi’an metropolis was inbuilt 1994 and was designed to final till 2044.

The landfill serves over eight million residents. It spans an space of just about 700,000 sq. metres, with a depth of 150 metres and a storage capability of greater than 34 million cubic metres.

Till just lately, Xi’an was one of many few cities in China that solely relied on landfill to get rid of family waste – resulting in capability being reached early.

Earlier this month, a brand new incineration plant was opened, and not less than 4 extra are anticipated to open by 2020. Collectively, they’re anticipated to have the ability to course of 12,750 tonnes of garbage.

The transfer is a part of a nationwide plan to scale back the variety of landfills, and as an alternative use different waste disposal strategies like incineration.

The landfill website in Xi’an will ultimately develop into an “ecological park”.

How a lot waste does China produce?

In 2017, China collected 215 million tonnes of city family waste, in keeping with the nation’s statistical yearbook. That is up from 152 million ten years earlier.

The nation had 654 landfill websites and 286 incineration vegetation.

The place does China’s garbage find yourself?

Waste collected in 2017

It isn’t clear what China’s recycling fee is, as no figures have been launched. China plans to recycle 35% of waste in main cities by the tip of 2020, in keeping with one authorities report.

This July, sorting and recycling garbage was made necessary in Shanghai – resulting in “a way of panic” amongst some residents.

Social angst excessive as Shanghai will get robust on garbage
A blockage in international waste disposal

In 2015, there was a landslide a garbage dump within the southern metropolis of Shenzhen, killing 73 individuals.

The dump was designed to carry 4 million cubic metres price of garbage with a most top of 95 metres.

When it collapsed it was holding 5.8m cubic metres of fabric with waste heaps as much as 160m excessive.

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One city in Malaysia was left swamped with overseas waste

Does China cope with different nations’ waste?

Not anymore. It used to, till the tip of 2017 when it determined to ban the import of 24 completely different grades of garbage.

In 2017 alone, China took in seven million tonnes of plastic garbage from Europe, Japan and the US – and 27 million tonnes of waste paper.

Different nations, together with Malaysia, Turkey, the Philippines and Indonesia, have picked up among the slack.

However they struggled to cope with the quantity of waste coming in – typically occasions leading to huge, uncontrolled landfills in their very own nations.

A few of these nations have now banned the import of sure varieties of garbage and are even sending it again.

Extra reporting by Ellen Jin