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Cracks Down on Building-waste Dumpers
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Illegal dumpers of building-site waste beware - the city of Shanghai is on the case, and you will be prosecuted.


Shanghai's Public Sanitation Bureau was spurred into action this week following the blatant dumping on Tuesday of more than 200 tons of construction dirt on downtown Anyuan Road.


Bureau officials will swoop on city construction sites, targeting companies that hire illegal waste-transport trucks or engage in the illicit disposal of trash. "To prevent similar cases is more effective than punishing them after the event," said Chen Wencai, a bureau director.


The huge amount of construction mud was found on Anyuan Road, at the junction of Jing'an and Putuo districts, in the early hours of Tuesday.


The load of earth occupied half the width of the road -- and caused traffic chaos.


Officials were on hand soon after the incident and had to call in eight heavy trucks to move the mud - a laborious and timely process.


"All the mud was cleared out by Wednesday afternoon," said an Anyuan Road grocery store owner.


Liu Weiguang, a bureau spokesman, said such a large-scale illegal dumping had not occurred for at least eight years.


Traffic cameras captured pictures of two unlicensed waste trucks on Anyuan Road about 3am on Tuesday. They are believed to have been hired by a site in Baoshan District.


"Currently we can't name the company, nor punish it, due to the lack of other strong evidence," Chen said.


Once the company is caught, it faces a 40,000 yuan (US$5,176) fine.


To better manage waste transport and disposal, the bureau late last year began to equip legal trucks with GPS systems.


"The city has about 2,000 legal trucks engaged in the waste-transport business," said Liu. "Since the cost of GPS is huge, only a small percentage has been upgraded so far."


Liu said legitimate drivers are being priced out of the market by unscrupulous construction companies that opt for cheaper operators.


(Shanghai Daily March 30, 2007)

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