The Sweet Smell of Landfill

posted 30.03.2010

Landfill sites have a number of associated problems including high emissions, ground and water contamination as well as being unsightly and smelly. One problem that an innovative landfill in Beijing is looking to solve is the bad odours created by landfill following a barrage of complaints from local residents bemoaning the unsavoury stench.

Beijing has a population of 17 million which is developing a more and more westernised throw away attitude, the city generates 18,000 tonnes of waste every day. This has led to a number (reports suggest around 200) of poorly managed tips on the city outskirts, many of which are illegally operated.

The landfill in question which is adopting a new strategy to reduce bad odours is the Asuwai dump site; they are set to install 100 large deodorant guns on the site. The giant deodorant guns can spray dozens of litres of deodorant each minute over a 50 metre radius. There are also plans to add more plastic covers over the landfill site to reduce the number of bad odours from becoming airborne.

Now local residents will be able to wake up to the smell of a combination of garbage and l’eau de toilette. Let’s just hope that the Beijing residents approve of the choice of deodorant, maybe a poll could be undertaken to determine a favourite fragrance.

Of course this can only be a temporary fix (if indeed it can be called that), China is developing a massive consumer economy and the statistics above tell us that longer term solutions are required. Less than 4% of rubbish in Beijing is recycled compared to 35% in the UK. Further to this only 2% is burned and the remainder is sent to landfill.

China faces a big challenge in order to ensure that its economic growth and success does not come at the cost of society and the environment. Consumer growth over the last 10-20 years has meant that the problem of waste has emerged too quickly to deal with effectively. The Chinese Government now realises this is an issue that will need to be actively addressed with plans to invest in a number of new incinerators, although this has been met by some strong local opposition as concerns have been raised regarding the safety of these. I assume that strangely they do not have similar concerns over the safety of the giant deodorant guns?

Source – The Guardian

Category: Uncategorized, environment, in the news, industry, Mike Close