a response?

A while ago I translated an article about a trash-powered power plant built on the site of a landfill at Gaoantun in Chaoyang District. Well, it seems all is not as rosy as that article suggested, and one problem alluded to turned into a bit of strife out that way. And now 新京报/The Beijing News’ Wu Di has an article on the issue:

高安屯垃圾场臭味 政府承诺20天内改善 

Government vows to ameliorate Gaoantun landfill stench within 20 days


Municipal administration commission vows to ameliorate Gaoantun landfill stench within 20 days, will invest 9.1 million in pollution control


 “The stench at Gaoantun landfill has in fact impacted the normal lives of residents in surrounding areas, and for this I apologise to the residents on behalf of the government… ” Yesterday, at the press conference organised by the Chaoyang District government, the person in charge of the district’s municipal administration commission vowed to effectively ameliorate the landfill’s stench within 20 days.


Gaoantun landfill overloaded

据介绍,根据居民反映,朝阳区组织专家对高安屯垃圾卫生填埋场的臭味问题,进行了现场勘察和监测,发现臭味源主要来于三个方面:一是该 垃圾填埋场自2002年底开始运转到现在,目前已经到了填埋垃圾产生沼气的旺盛期,沼气产量急剧增加。二是,今年雨量较大,生活垃圾含水量增多。由于填埋 场处于运转期,还不能对雨水进行彻底隔离,造成渗沥液增多而产生出臭味。三是超负荷运行带来暴露作业面积气味的挥发。

It is reported that based on residents’ reports, Chaoyang District organised experts to reconnoitre and monitor the area where the Gaoantun landfill’s stench was a problem, discovering that the stench came from three main areas: One was that the landfill had been operating from the end of 2002 until now, and has currently entered the period of vigorous methane production and the amount of methane produced has rapidly increased. The second was that this year had seen relatively more rain, and there was much more domestic waste containing water. Because the landfill is still in operation and still can not thoroughly isolate rain water, much more leachate was produced, emitting a foul smell. The third was that the overloading of the operation revealed the volatility of the work area’s odour. [See the Ji Village News comment for a clearer rendition of this sentence].

[Help! That last sentence in particular was less than clear to me, and I’m sure that paragraph is littered with so many areas it stinks worse than the landfill!]


The person in charge at the Chaoyang District municipal administration commission said that the handling capacity of Gaoantun landfill’s original design was 1000 tons per day, but with the city’s development, the amount of rubbish handled had increased rapidly. From last year on, the amount of rubbish handled at Gaoantun landfill has reached 3400 – 3700 tons per day.

The next section gets into technical details that leave me stumped. There’s something about high poles that atomise the stinky gases? I dunno. There’s also talk of installing negative-pressure air pumps that gather up stinky smells that aren’t concentrated enough to burn, concentrates them, and uses them to produce electricity. And there’s more that I just can’t figure out (and it doesn’t help that my wife has suddenly decided to trim my sideburns as I type…). Oh, and they’re going to wrap the landfill in a giant membrane so the stinky gases can’t get out. If anybody more familiar with the technical stuff wants to have a go at translating that, go right ahead.

And there are related articles at the end, too, but I don’t have the energy for that right now.

Anyways, it seems that the concerns expressed by the local residents have gotten quite a swift and decisive and positive reaction from the government.

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.

6 thoughts on “a response?

  1. Thank you, Mr Jones. I don’t think there’s any doubt about the ability of local governments to respond, I think the question is over the nature of the response,and there seems to be an element of class distinction involved here. One shudders to think what the response would’ve been had it been local farmers protesting.

  2. 三是超负荷运行带来暴露作业面积气味的挥发。
    Perhaps this sentence can be presented in a better way. I think the gist of it is that over-capacity exposed more garbage to the surface and open air, releasing more odour as a result. I don’t see “volatility” in this sentence. Perhaps you took that from “暴露”? “暴露” means being exposed here.

    Your translation is right on the money, in my view, except the little thing mentioned here.

  3. I got ‘volatility’ from ‘挥发’, which my dictionary defines as ‘volatilize’. But you’re right, I couldn’t get my head round that sentence and so had to fudge it. Guess I fudged it a bit too much. Thanks for the input, I do these translations as a form of language study, so this helps me a lot.

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