one man’s trash…

….is another man’s power plant. 新京报/The Beijing News’ Du Ding reports on the test run of Beijing’s first trash power station:


 Trash burning plant ignites for a test run


 Situated in Gaoantun, Beijing’s first such station. Thermal electricity generator’s cinders can be used to make bricks

 Hmmm…. need to polish that subtitle.


Yesterday Beijing’s first trash-fired power plant- Gaoantun Domestic Trash-Fired Power Plant ignited for a test run. From now on, after domestic rubbish produced by households is burnt here, the cinders produced will be able to be made into bricks. Also, the commission of this thermal power plant will resolve environmental problems such as the foul smell produced in the process of burying domestic trash.


“Cinder bricks” not to be used in homes

高安屯垃圾焚烧发电厂每年将焚烧53.3万吨垃圾。据高安屯垃圾焚烧发电厂顾问总工程师刘申伯介绍,垃圾运到厂里后,将不再分类,直接进行焚 烧。焚烧后,垃圾产生的炉渣约占垃圾总重量20%,每年约有12万吨,这些炉渣将被制作成砖头,“一般不用在民宅上,而是用在城市道路和防护堤坝上。”

The Gaoantun trash-fired power plant will burn 533 thousand tons of trash each year. According to the chief consulting engineer of Gaoantun trash-fired power plant Liu Shenbo, after trash is transported to the plant, it will not be sorted a second time, but burnt directly. After burning, the cinders will weigh 20% of the total weight of the trash. There will be 120 thousand tons per year, and these cinders will be made into bricks, “Generally they won’t be used in homes, but will be used for paving city roads or in flood defences.


In addition, the 140 thousand tons of loose ash produced each year by burning rubbish will be handled according to the state policy and regulations on hazardous waste and will be burnt to produce ceramsite for use as building materials.


Resolving the problem of the spread of foul trash odours


The Gaoantun domestic trash-fired power plant is located in Chaoyang District’s Jinzhan Village, which was previously a garbage-disposal landfill. Every year 1600 tons of trash produced a foul smell, ground water pollution, and other problems in the burial process. The residents of the Tianciliangyuan estate located downwind of the Gaoantun landfill often reported being able to smell a foul, nose-irritating stench.


 To this a worker of the Gaoantun domestic trash-fired power plant said burning is currently an advanced, State-licensed method of handling trash and would resolve the problem of foul smells leaking out of the trash pit. At the same time, in the process of unloading trash, an imported air-curtain would be used to prevent the spread of the foul smell of the trash as it is being unloaded.


To solve half of Chaoyang’s trash handling


It is understood that when this trash-fired power plant is in operation, it will be able to provide environmental sanitation services to over two million of Chaoyang District’s residents and resolve half of Chaoyang District’s trash handling problems.

I know what you’re asking, and reading all that the same question was just itching to burst out of my mouth:

What about emissions?!?!?

There is, of course, an answer:


Residents are concerned emissions from burning trash will harm their health, plant says


Trash burning emissions in accordance national standards

  高安屯附近万象新天小区居民陈先生称,以往,高安屯垃圾填埋场发出的臭味给周边居民带来影响,特别是一到夏天,臭味的浓度和范围都在扩大。现 在,高安屯生活垃圾焚烧厂点火试运行,臭味可能会减少,但又开始担心垃圾燃烧产生的新气体是否符合环保要求,会不会危害居民的健康?

Mr Chen, a resident of the Wanxiangxintian estate nearby Gaoantun, said that in the past the Gaoantun landfill emitted a foul smell affecting surrounding residents, and especially in the summer the strength and scope of the foul smell would increase. Now that the Gaoantun domestic trash-fired power plant has ignited for a test run, the foul smell might be reduced, but he’s now worried whether the gases produced by burning the trash meet environmental protection requirements and whether they will harm resident’s health?


 To this, the chief consulting engineer of Gaoantun trash-fired power plant Liu Shenbo said the trash burning system uses [combustion technology suitable to the special characteristics of Chinese rubbish], an advanced fan system and automatic combustion control equipment and an emissions purifying system, and can guarantee that the emissions will meet the relevant national and local standards.

All right, that bit in [square brackets] I really have no idea what it’s about. What the hell is the particular technology involved? Is he really talking about the special characteristics of Chinese trash? Or is this something more sensible than that? Help!

Anyway, I decided to check where Gaoantun is, and google ditu’ed it. First result gave me a wtf? Yup, that A is at Beichen, not far from where a friend of mine used to live, very close to the Bird’s nest, in an area I’ve visited many times and which I could’ve sworn there was no landfill at all. Then I looked closer and realised the address must be for the company headquarters. No, perhaps this map gives a better idea of the location. Look for the ‘D’ just above centre.

So the company headquarters is a long way from the plant itself…..

Well, I hope this article is for real and isn’t just a puff-piece. Yeah, I know.

Just an aside: Lately nciku has been working really well for me. I don’t know if it’s because they finally solved the problem they had connecting with university networks or if it’s because with all the students off home for the summer holiday or being too busy with their Olympic volunteer work to clog up the BeiGongDa system. Whatever, I’m liking this situation and I hope it continues after September 20.


About the Author


A Kiwi teaching English to oil workers in Beijing, studying Chinese in my spare time, married to a beautiful Beijing lass, consuming vast quantities of green tea (usually Xihu Longjing/西湖龙井, if that means anything to you), eating good food (except for when I cook), missing good Kiwi ale, breathing smog, generally living as best I can outside Godzone and having a good time of it.

3 thoughts on “one man’s trash…

  1. I’m so happy that you can finally connect to us with a reasonable speed. BTW, we just made some changes to the site. Let us know what you think about it; I’m very interested to know our users ideas about the differences.

  2. Cheers, Dan. I’m not getting too excited about my newfound access to nciku, though. Like I said, I don’t know the cause and it may well be that when the students get back after the Olympics all the extra traffic will take my connectivity to nciku back into the dark ages. But for now, I’m enjoying it.

    Noticed the changes, it’s looking good so far.

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