China to Build Hundreds More Polluting Incinerators on East Coast

  • By Park Eun-ho

    March 27, 2018 13:19

    Toxic haze from China is worsening amid Chinese plans to build hundreds of more garbage incinerators along the east coast, where the deathly fine dust particles will be safely carried abroad by the wind, possibly to Korea.

    Korea has been blanketed by toxic haze since last weekend, which is forecast to continue.

    The eastern coastal region of China has a massive concentration of factories and coal-fired power plants, and Beijing is building or authorizing waste incinerators in Shandong and Jiangsu provinces, which are close to Korea.

    According to data submitted to the Environment Ministry by Ajou University professor Kim Soon-tae, China's waste incineration volume soared from 80 million tons in 2005 to 180 million tons in 2015. 

    Due to population growth and a shortage of landfills, the Chinese government plans to double the capacity of trash incineration in 2020. According to Kim, in addition to 244 existing incinerators, 121 more are currently being built, while another 106 are earmarked for construction.

    This will make the ultrafine dust flying into Korea even worse. The number of days that the government issued ultrafine dust warnings rose from just one in 2013 to 10 last year and already to 13 so far this year.

    Seoul is doing very little to deal with the problem. "As China develops economically, it is shifting from burying trash to incinerating it, but there is no way of concluding that the incinerators are all being built along its east coast," a government official claimed.

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