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China to Tackle Serious Solid Waste Disposal Problem
Despite increasing investment in environmental protection, China still faces challenges dealing with mounting solid waste, said Sheng Huaren, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) Wednesday.

Sheng made the remark in a report to the third meeting of the NPC Standing Committee on the prevention of solid garbage pollution.

He said solid waste from China's industrial sector weighed heavily on the environment.

Industrial waste residue, for a long time, has not been treated properly, resulting in serious damage to environment, he said.

Statistics showed that solid waste from China's industrial sector reached 888 million tons in 2001 from 659 million tons in 1996 with a seven percent average annual increase.

So far, waste residue from mines across China occupies 900 square kilometers of land, two thirds of which is arable land, said Sheng.

"Domestic waste is also increasing very fast," he said. Statistics showed China's domestic waste rose from 108 million tons in 1996 to 135 million in 2001, up four percent a year.

"Based on past experience, we see that China's domestic waste from city households doubled every 10 years and has placed a heavy burden on the environment," Sheng said.

He said dangerous waste, from hospitals, discarded electronic appliances and domestic animal excretion in rural areas, were all causing increasing pollution in China.

Sheng urged governments at various levels to increase pubic awareness of environmental protection, tighten government administration, establish an effective pollution control mechanism, and intensify law enforcement.

(Xinhua News Agency June 25, 2003)

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