This undated photo shows a volunteer helping a man with garbage classification at a residential community in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province. TO GO WITH (Guangzhou urban management bureau/Handout via Xinhua)
GUANGZHOU, June 5 (Xinhua) -- In the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, the Fushan Circular Economy Industrial Park stands as a shining example of the city's commitment to tackling the pressing issue of waste management.
This eco-friendly park is free from any solid waste or unpleasant odors, boasting vibrant perennial flowers that bloom all year round instead. It is one of the prominent achievements of Guangzhou's over 20 years of efforts in overcoming the "garbage siege" faced by many large cities.
Now, this Chinese megacity is home to seven such industrial parks dedicated to the treatment of domestic garbage, with a total of 24 treatment facilities in operation, capable of effectively managing 39,000 tonnes of waste a day through incineration and biochemical processes.
"We can proudly say that Guangzhou has taken the lead in achieving zero landfill of raw household waste," said Tao Zhenguang, director of the Guangzhou urban management bureau.
Guangzhou, with a management and service population surpassing 22 million, faces significant challenges of managing its ever-increasing daily domestic garbage, which currently amounts to approximately 30,000 tonnes.
In 2001, the city took the initiative to construct what was then one of the largest landfills in Asia. However, due to the rapid accumulation of waste, the landfill reached its maximum capacity in just 10 years, far earlier than its intended 50-year lifespan. It once even faced risks of slipping and collapsing mounds of garbage.
In response to the dilemma, Guangzhou implemented a comprehensive city-wide garbage classification system to tackle the issue at its source and reduce the overall quantity of waste generated by promoting responsible waste disposal practices among residents.
It also introduced a new pattern for household garbage disposal, with a focus on utilizing incineration as the primary method, while using biochemistry and recycling as complementary approaches.
The Fushan Circular Economy Industrial Park showcases a high-tech circular ecological system for waste management. The heat generated by waste incineration is harnessed to produce electricity, thereby maximizing energy efficiency.
In addition, the flue gas from the incineration process undergoes denitrification, transforming harmful ammonia and nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water. Through a series of purification treatments, the water is then repurposed for various uses such as garden watering, fish farming, and cleaning.
Xiao Wen, an official with the city's urban management bureau, said the emissions of waste incineration, biomass, kitchen waste, sewage, and slag treatment in all seven circular economy industrial parks in Guangzhou adhere to world-class emission standards. The parks' emission indicators are monitored through the major meteorological monitoring platforms of Guangdong Province, which administers Guangzhou.
"Now, an average of two out of every 100 households in Guangzhou use household waste incineration to generate electricity," said Sun Hui, a docent at the Fushan Circular Economy Industrial Park.
Sun highlights the Guangzhou third resources thermal power station in Fushan park as an example, saying that the station's daily treatment capacity for domestic waste in the first phase of the zero waste to landfill project can reach 4,000 tonnes.
"It is capable of generating 540 million kWh of electricity a year, which can meet the annual electricity needs of 200,000 households," Sun added. ■
This undated photo shows students learning about garbage classification at a school in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province. TO GO WITH (Guangzhou urban management bureau/Handout via Xinhua)