Dealing With Garbage In Exactly The Wrong Way.

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The Chinese have discovered fast food and throw-away packaging like Americans have – and it’s not good. They have a landfill stench problem that is growing exponentially, and instead of implementing controls on packaging, the Chinese government has decided that a better way to “fix” the issue is to use giant deodorant guns to cover up the stink. These 100 guns will spray fragrance at the landfill occasionally to try to make it smell better, while the trash workers will also be layering more plastic sheets over the garbage itself. The Guardian writes:

Beijing’s waste problem – and China’s – is expanding as fast as its economy, at about 8% each year. With millions more people now able to afford Starbucks, McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and other elements of a western, throwaway lifestyle, the landfill sites and illegal tips that ring the capital are close to overflowing.

According to the local government, the city of 17m people generates 18,000 tonnes of waste every day – 7,000 tonnes more than the capacity of municipal disposal plants.

The Chinese only recycle 4% of their trash (the U.S. recycles about 32%) and their love for the “consumer society” we have been “enjoying” for so long is definitely hurting them big time. There is something called the ‘seventh ring’ of the city of Beijing which is composed of, you guessed it, trash. And by using random (probably toxic) fragrances to mask the smell of the garbage, instead of dealing with the actual issue, is only going to make the situation worse. With all of Beijing’s landfills due to be full in the next 4 years, and no new ones coming online anytime soon, this is a recipe for disaster.

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  1. I heard this on NPR this morning and it made me ill. How sad that this is one of our exports. You’d think they would learn from our mistakes 🙁

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