China’s largest dump site is already full, at least 20 years ahead of schedule.
The Jiangcungou dump site located in the north western city of Xi’an, in Shaanxi province, which is approximately 100 football pitches, was designed to take 2,500 tons of waste daily, but it received 10,000 tons of waste every day.
“We have been gradually shutting down the site since October and will do so completely after the waste is commissioned to incineration facilities,” Shen Chaofeng, deputy head of the solid waste management department under the Xi’an Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau, told Sixth Tone.
China is one of the biggest polluters in the world and for many years it is struggling against waste that its 1.4 billion people generate. The country had 654 landfill sites and 286 incineration plants.
According to the country’s statistical yearbook, in 2017, China accumulated about 215 million tonnes of urban household waste, compared to 152 million ten years earlier.
Though the recycling rate is of the country is unknown, a government report states that China plans to recycle 35% of waste in major cities, and this, by the end of 2020.
As a reminder, in 2015, a landslide of waste occurred in the southern city of Shenzhen, killing 73 people. The dump which was designed to hold 4 million cubic metres worth of rubbish with a maximum height of 95 metres, collapsed while holding 5.8m cubic metres of material with waste piled up to 160m high.