China’s Plan to Deal With Its Trash by Burning It Provokes a Public Backlash

China’s Plan to Deal With Its Trash by Burning It Provokes a Public Backlash
Smoke rises from a garbage incineration plant in Wuhan, China, Jan. 9, 2015 (Photo by Dong Mu for Imaginechina via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.

The central Chinese city of Wuhan put a garbage-burning power plant on hold this week after days of protests against the project. Following a police crackdown, local officials, apparently caught off guard by the protests, have pledged to consult with residents before moving forward. The demonstrations highlight the recurring failure of local authorities in China to provide transparency and address safety and environmental concerns over government projects.

Waste-to-energy incineration plants like the one proposed in Wuhan are especially controversial. They are seen by authorities as necessary to manage China’s massive and growing solid waste problem, but opponents fear they will produce toxic emissions and contaminate the environment. Incinerators in other parts of China, as well as in Wuhan, have sparked demonstrations in recent years, some of which turned violent.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review