Sanitation workers collected 2,600 tons of fireworks debris in the Chinese capital during the seven-day Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, the most important festival in China.
Sources with the Beijing Municipal Administration Commission said that some 87,500 sanitation workers and 1,729 sweepers spent seven days and nights collecting tattered red-paper cardboard casings from spent fireworks on 2,698 streets, totaling 51.24 million square meters in the city.
Fireworks are part of traditional celebrations marking the Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival, a big day for family reunion, which falls on February 18 this year.
Since Beijing lifted a 12-year ban in 2006, fireworks have made a loud return to the city, with sales increasing sharply this year to 380,000 boxes, compared with 240,000 boxes last year, according to a municipal public security official.
Sanitation workers started on the night of February 17 sweeping debris of firecrackers ignited on the eve of the Lunar New Year as the municipal authorities had ordered an early clean-up.
(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2007)