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 China's garbage woes

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Tigris
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PostSubject: China's garbage woes   Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:26 pm

ZHANGLIDONG (China) - VISITORS can smell this village long before they see it.



More than 100 dump trucks piled high with garbage line the narrow road leading to Zhanglidong, waiting to empty their loads in a landfill as big as 20 football fields.

In less than five years, the Zhengzhou Comprehensive Waste Treatment Landfill has overwhelmed this otherwise pristine village of about 1,000 people. Peaches and cherries rot on trees, infested with insect life drawn by the smell.

Fields lie unharvested, contaminated by toxic muck. Every day, another 100 or so tons of garbage arrive from nearby Zhengzhou, a provincial capital of 8 million.

'Life here went from heaven to hell in an instant,' says lifelong resident Wang Xiuhua, swatting away clouds of mosquitoes and flies. The 78-year-old woman suddenly coughs uncontrollably and says the landfill gases inflame her bronchitis.

As more Chinese ride the nation's economic boom, a torrent of garbage is one result. Cities are bursting at the seams, and their officials struggle to cope. -- AP
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