Inside a Chinese village trying to go ‘zero waste’
A small village on a hillside in central China is leading the way in addressing one of the great issues of the modern era – how to eliminate humanity's impact on the environment. Only some 20 residents, all of them elderly, remain in the village of Liantang in Guiyang county, Hunan province. The rest have moved away over the years, seeking the opportunities and modern conveniences of urban life. But one man has returned to the place where he was born and raised, determined to remake it as a zero-waste community. Tan Yiyong, 39, founded a non-profit organization in 2013 called Jiao Dao Xiao Dao, promoting waste sorting as well as an eco enzyme which can be made out of household scraps and use
Inside a Chinese village trying to go ‘zero waste’
China’s biggest landfill is full – 20 years ahead of schedule
The biggest landfill site in China is about to be filled to the brim, two decades ahead of schedule.  The Jiangcungou landfill in Xian, a northwestern metropolis with a population of 10 million people, occupies more than 160 acres of land.  When it was built in 1994, the dump was designed to process some 2,500 metric tons of residential garbage every day and operate until 2044. But in reality, it receives four times as much garbage, according to a report by state broadcaster CCTV. Garbage has already piled up nearly 500 feet high, local media reported in September. Soon the landfill will have to be closed.  As more landfills fill up across China, the country is facing an acute challenge of
China’s biggest landfill is full – 20 years ahead of schedule
Finless porpoise deaths highlight vulnerability of the endangered species
Two endangered finless porpoises have been found dead in China in the space of a week, according to media reports. Both were found dead in different parts of the Yangtze River, China’s longest. One body was found in Jiayu county, which is located in the central Chinese province of Hubei, on Monday.  Four days before that, the remains of another porpoise were recovered from Dongting Lake, a large flood basin of the Yangtze River, in Hunan province in central China, news website Thepaper.cn reported. China’s finless porpoises are classified as extremely endangered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Last year, vice-minister Yu Kangzhen said surveys showed there were 1,012 of the
Finless porpoise deaths highlight vulnerability of the endangered species
Shanghai’s war on waste has led to a boom in plastics
Several weeks after compulsory waste sorting took effect in Shanghai, demand has surged in the city for a surprise byproduct: plastics. Sales of plastic bags and bins designed for specific types of rubbish have soared, while manufacturers in China’s plastics producing hub, in neighboring Zhejiang province, are working day and night to meet demand.  “People used to put everything in one bag. With the introduction of the new rules they need to put them into different colored bags – for example, blue for recyclables and black for hazardous waste – so they definitely need more bags,” said Chen Kejie, who runs a plastic bag factory in Zhejiang. He said orders for waste sorting bags had doubled s
Shanghai’s war on waste has led to a boom in plastics
Scientists wiped out mosquitoes on two islands using new method
Itchy from mosquito bites? Scientists have wiped out the entire population of mosquitoes on two islands in southern China, using a radical technique to make the males infertile. The study, published in the journal Nature, could transform the fight against a range of deadly diseases carried by mosquitoes. Over nearly two years, scientists released more than 200 million specially bred male Asian tiger mosquitoes on the Shazai and Dadaosha islands in the delta to the south of Guangzhou, the area with the highest number of dengue fever cases in China. The mosquitoes, also known as Aedes albopictus, had been exposed to short bursts of gamma radiation and received three artificially induced infec
Scientists wiped out mosquitoes on two islands using new method
Thousands in China protest against waste incineration plant
Thousands of people have taken to the streets in a central Chinese city in a week-long protest against the construction of a waste incineration plant. On Thursday, protesters carried banners and chanted as they marched against a waste-to-energy plant that could be built next to residential areas in Yangluo, a neighborhood in the Xinzhou district in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. Residents were angered by plans to build the plant on a garbage landfill site that had been expected to be turned into a public park. They shouted slogans such as “Give the green mountains and clear waters back to us” and “Garbage burning plant get lost from Yangluo.” Chinese authorities have imposed tight s
Thousands in China protest against waste incineration plant
Chinese park shuts because people kept stealing flowers from it
An ecological park in southwest China has been forced to close for the rest of the year because hundreds of tourists had stolen its celebrated lotus flowers. Longqiao Cultural and Ecological Park in Sichuan province’s Lu county has been closed since late March for construction and was due to reopen soon. The park is well known for its sprawling fields of lotus flowers that cover around 62 acres – an area larger than New York’s Grand Central Terminal. But since the start of the summer blossom season last month, hundreds of people have been breaking into the park to pick the flowers, forcing managers to keep it closed for the rest of the year. “We cannot control the tourists. We can just guar
Chinese park shuts because people kept stealing flowers from it
How China’s trash ban may disrupt Singapore’s plans for a zero-waste year
China’s ban on waste imports in 2018 has sent some nations, including the United States, scrambling for somewhere else to send their trash. Malaysia soon became the top alternative destination for plastics, but it has begun sending waste back to its country of origin, refusing to be a “dumping ground” for developed countries. Now Singapore may be affected too. The Lion City’s recyclables are currently shipped to countries like Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, which are then processed and sold to manufacturers. If those countries stop importing trash, Singapore will be forced to fast-track its efforts to clean up the city’s waste systems. Singapore, lauded as business friendly, clean and gr
How China’s trash ban may disrupt Singapore’s plans for a zero-waste year
Study traces emissions of banned gas to eastern China
Industries in eastern China produced massive emissions of an illegal, ozone-depleting gas in recent years, a peer-reviewed study has shown. Chlorofluorocarbon-11 (CFC-11), once widely used in making insulation foam, has been banned globally as a potent ozone destroyer and a greenhouse gas. But scientists have found an unexpected rise in its emissions from eastern Asia since 2012. A study published on Nature this week has identified China as a major culprit. Researchers said annual CFC-11 emissions from eastern China were about 7,000 metric tons higher from 2014 to 2017 compared with emissions from 2008 to 2012. The spike accounted for at least 40% to 60% of the global increase after 2012. Th
Study traces emissions of banned gas to eastern China
China’s rust belt is struggling to regain life
For more than a century, coal was the center of life for the residents of Fushun, 30 miles from the Liaoning provincial capital of Shenyang, earning the city the nickname “capital of coal.” But with viable reserves exhausted and a lack of technology and money to safely operate deeper underground, its mines have been closing down one by one over the past two decades, leading to the neglect and eventual abandonment of the neighborhoods around them in northeastern China Of Fushun’s four main mines, Shengli was the first to shut, followed by the Longfeng mine. Last year, the city’s coal production fell to 5.83 million tons, a fraction of what was produced in its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. I
China’s rust belt is struggling to regain life