Thursday, February 3, 2011

Trash smells? Use deodorant!

I thought this was hilarious, and so for today, have decided to just link to this article. 

Beijing to Shoot Giant Deodorant Guns at Smelly Landfills

"Beijing has a trash problem. According to the local government, the city of 17 million people generate over 18,000 tons of trash every single day. Not only is it 7,000 tons more than local disposal plants can handle, it's also really, really smelly (emphasis added).

One solution would be aggressive waste reduction policies but where is the fun in that. Let's do it Schwarzenegger-style and fire a cannon at it!

Yup, the city of Beijing is installing 100 giant deodorant guns at its Asuwei dump site to address complaints it has received about the smell. Along with the cannons, the city will cover the trash with plastic to help reduce the smell. Protests by local residents have already sprung up as they have to put up with the stench when the wind blows their direction.

The high-pressure cannons can spray gallons of fragrance per minute with a range of up to 20 feet. But it seems like Beijing is missing the target, pun intended. The city's waste problem is growing at about 8-percent every year. And Lady Speedstick ain't going to cut it.

'All landfill and treatment sites in Beijing will be full in four years. That's how long it takes to build a treatment plant. So we need to act right now to resolve the issue,' said Wang Weiping, a waste expert in the city government. "It's necessary to restructure the current disposal system. We cannot rely on landfill anymore. It's a waste of space."

Less than 4-percent of Beijing's trash is recycled, 2-percent of it is burned but the rest just ends up in landfills. That's alarming considering places like the US and UK recycle about 35-percent of their trash.

While China has become a consumer society in the past 10 years, the lack of options perpetuate the problem. There are about 200 illegal dump sites around Beijing due to the lack of options. According to the government, 20 million tons of waste went unhanded in 2008. Photographer Wang Jiuliang calls it Beijing's Seventh Ring. He has spent the last year recording and plotting the wastelands using GPS and Google Earth.
'People are forced to use these places for dumps and landfills. There is no better place,' he says."
You can find photos and maps of Beijing's landfills by Wang Juliang here.


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