Xiantao residents accuse govt of not collecting garbage to pressure protesters

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2016/6/29 1:13:01

Residents of the city of Xiantao in Central China's Hubei Province on Tuesday accused the local government of not collecting garbage in a move they said put "pressure" on their massive protest against a waste incineration plant project.

Over 10,000 residents took to the street on Saturday and Sunday to protest against a waste incineration plant they fear will cause severe pollution, despite the local government's claim that it will suspend the project.

Some residents told the Global Times that when they woke up on Tuesday morning, they found themselves surrounded by garbage, which was supposed to be collected by the local government on Monday night.

"Garbage is piling up on the roads. The local government is pressuring us," a local resident claimed.

However, a local government official told the Global Times on Tuesday afternoon that authorities have started collecting the garbage.

"Sanitation workers stopped their work because they were afraid of being beaten up by the protesters," explained the official, adding that protesters had stopped garbage trucks that they thought were sending garbage to the incineration plant. But residents reached by the Global Times questioned the claim, saying they had stopped protesting by Monday morning.

Similar protests of waste incineration plants have been seen across the country. Authorities in Haiyan county, East China's Zhejiang Province in April pledged not to start construction of a garbage incineration plant after residents publicly protested the plan.

In May 2014, thousands allegedly gathered in the Yuhang district of Hangzhou, Zhejiang's capital, to protest an incineration plant planned in the area.

A commentary published by the Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday said such issues are difficult to solve because the country does not have a standard classification for garbage. All the garbage is thus put into waste incinerators together, which can lead to the production of toxic compounds like dioxin. The commentary also pointed out that real-time detection of dioxin emissions continues to pose a problem worldwide.

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