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Garbage No Longer Surrounds Villages in Yiwu

Liu Bixiang, 52 years old, lives in Pantang Village of Dachen Township in Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province. Every morning she walks around in the village as a cleaner with her tools-a broom, a trailer and a dustpan. Liu started this periodic work early this year and she is one of the three cleaners in her village. Ye Liudi, her husband, also works as a cleaner in the next door village.

"There are at least four trailers of garbage everyday in my village," said Liu. After getting up in six in the morning, she collects the garbage outside of villagers' houses and put them into a big dump. And she is satisfied with her 700 yuan (US $86) salary per month.

"There are 700,000 migrant workers and 200,000 floating population in Yiwu. The underdeveloped sanitation and management cause serious problem to the environment in villages and outskirts of the city. And this is not suitable to Yiwu's fast economic and social development," introduced by Song Yinghao, deputy mayor of the city. "Therefore, after solving the problem of garbage disposal in urban areas, we set this year as 'The Year of Garbage Disposal in Rural Areas' in order to improve the villages' living environment."

According to He Zhanqi, director of the local Environmental Protection Bureau, villagers have three main responsibilities in environment protection: First, throwing all garbage in the bin; second, keeping the neatness around their houses; third, maintaining the common-used sanitation together. "The garbage collected by cleaners in villages will be filled in land by the city's sanitation department," said He.

Wang Rongxin, who lives in Jindu Village of Yiwu, has a strong feeling about the garbage disposal in his home village. He said, "In the past, villagers threw the rubbish everywhere even on the road, which brought serious pollution to our village. Now the situation has improved. There are several cleaners and villagers' awareness of environment protection has been promoted."

(China Daily August 31, 2005)


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