Luoding local government revokes waste incineration project permit

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2015-4-9 0:38:02

The government of Luoding, Guangdong Province announced on Wednesday it would revoke its approval of a waste incinerator, after thousands of residents protested against the project.

"The government decided to cancel the solid waste processing project of the Luoding branch of China Resources Cement Holdings Limited in response to public demands," read a government announcement posted on its official website on Wednesday.

Thousands of villagers began to rally against the project on Monday for fear of pollution. The protest ended after clashes broke out on Tuesday when the local police tried to disperse the crowd, according to several villagers reached by the Global Times.

One of them claimed that several people were injured during the clashes.

"They were asking the authorities to stop the construction of the waste incineration plant [of China Resources]. They also want the company's cement factory to reduce pollution," a local resident surnamed Huang told the Global Times.

The announcement said that the project in Luoding has met the requirements of the national policy that encourages and supports solid waste processing in the cement industry.

The company planned to build a waste project in Luoding in October last year, which would be capable of disposing 300 tons of garbage every day.

 "Burning garbage at high-temperature furnaces - which is often used in cement factories - is believed to be able to cause less pollution than burning garbage through other methods," Ma Jun, director of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, told the Global Times.

However, Ma pointed out that pollution cannot be avoided during garbage burning and transportation. He added the waste project owner would offer compensation to residents affected by the process.

"In order to avoid such conflicts, more transparency and information disclosure are necessary and the public should likewise be consulted," said Ma. "What happened in Guangdong served as a reminder to companies to strengthen their pollution control and the authorities should tighten supervision."

Local authorities in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province suspended its waste incineration project in May 2014 in response to protests.

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