10k Xiantao residents protest waste incineration plant despite project’s suspension

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2016/6/27 0:58:01

Residents of Xiantao, Central China's Hubei Province continued to protest against a waste incineration plant on Sunday despite the local government's claim that it will suspend the project.

Local resident Wang Fang told the Global Times that some 10,000 people continued to take to the streets on Sunday to protest the incinerator project.

"Although the government announced it will suspend the project, they did not stop the construction of the plant. If the factory fails to be demolished, they will continue the project," said Wang, adding that protesting residents ran into conflicts with local police.

The city government published a statement on its official website on Sunday morning saying that the waste incineration plant project will be suspended.

The statement said the government hopes local residents will not take any "aggressive actions."

According to Wang, the massive protest started Saturday morning as many local residents worried that the plant project may negatively impact the local environment.

"The plant is just so close to the residential area and schools. There are two elementary schools within 1,000 meters," said Wang.

Local residents reached by the Global Times called for a complete stop to the project instead of a suspension.

According to cnxiantao.com, a website affiliated with the city's publicity department, Wang Zhonglin, vice secretary of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China in Xiantao, said at a news conference on Saturday night that the incinerator will be equipped with advanced technology, while its emissions of dioxin - a compound that is toxic to humans - will conform to the strictest standards set by the European Union.

Liu Xingbing, head of Xiantao's Urban Management Bureau, said there is only one standard landfill in the area, and it is already overloaded. Liu noted the facility can only process 500 tons of waste per day, and its storage capacity will be exhausted within three years.

The incineration project began in June 2014, at which time it was expected to be put into use in May 2015, according to a Xiantao government official website.

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