Municipal Solid Waste Management In China Environmental Sciences Essay

The universe is now enduring from an exigency crisis of municipal solid waste ( MSW ) . The entire sum of planetary MSW is lifting aggressively, particularly in some development states, such as China. The one-year sum of MSW production in China increased from 0.0313 billion dozenss to 0.14 billion dozenss during an 18 old ages period from 1980 to 1998 ( Suocheng, 2001, P7-11 ) . And the accrued volume of MSW in China experienced a rapid addition during a 5 old ages period from about 6 billion dozenss in 1998 to more than 6.5 billion dozenss in 2002 ( Zhiqiang, 2006, P1193-1197 ) . With the economic system go oning to turn aggressively, it is clear that MSW direction may be one of the heaviest loads for the China authorities. As a consequence, taking a suited method for MSW intervention in China is going much more necessary and exigency.

MSW direction system in China

In the early People Republic of China, under the background of the planned economic system system, MSW direction was defined as a public service by the authorities ( Suocheng, 2001, P7-11 ) , which made MSW direction isolated from the market. As a consequence, used an inordinate public financess for disposing MSW became one of the factors leaded to financial shortage. By the terminal of 1970s, the Chinese authorities put frontward the reform and opening-up policy. Profit from this policy, although the market mechanisms were still uncomplete, it began to play an progressively decisive function in MSW direction in China.

After about 50 old ages of development, there were three chief methods used to dispose the MSW: Incineration, Landfill and composted. By the terminal of 2000, more than 70 % of MSW was managed by landfill ( largely by simple landfill ) and about 20 % by composted, merely less than 10 % was disposed by incineration ( Zhiqiang, 2006, P1193-1197 ) . During the past decennary, the authorities began to pay much more attending in incineration, which changed the per centum of the composing of MSW direction system. However, it did non intend that a most suited system had already formed, due to this ground, an analysis about dispose methods should still be taken.

Waste Landfill System

Landfill engineering is utilizing a landfill site for MSW disposal by compression and entombment. Through the decomposition of anaerobiotic bug, organic affairs will be converted into inorganic substances and will finally be absorbed by the dirt. Landfill engineering has been the most often used method in MSW direction, particularly in China. Landfill is the cheapest MSW disposal option, the costs of waste transit is being reduced because of the short distance from urban country to landfill site. It means that, local wastes can be disposed in situ alternatively of transported to another country. Another advantage of landfill is the comprehensive ability in MSW intervention. Compare with other waste disposal methods, landfill engineering can dispose many different types of wastes which have non been classified. Furthermore, vast of methane, which was discharged from the landfill site, can be collected by a gas assemblage system and used as a cleaner-burning fuel.

However, as have mentioned above, most of the MSW in China was disposed by simple landfill, which have already caused many jobs. One of the most common influences is surface H2O pollution ; rivers may be polluted because of toxins seep. For illustration, the prostration of the Xiaping landfill in Shenzhen metropolis, China, finally caused a terrible pollution in Shenzhen River, which made 1/3 of the imbibing H2O supplies disrupted for over a hebdomad and it besides posed a serious menace to the natural environment. Furthermore, in instance of improper operation, methane may leak from the gas assemblage system, which may do air pollution, and doubtless, will lend to planetary heating. In add-on, landfill may besides influent the local dirt. Owing to a slow decomposition rate of the anaerobiotic bug, one time a site has been filled, the high concentration of contaminations in it will be at least 200 old ages. Therefore, a land which has of all time been used as a landfill site can non be redeveloped in a short period.

Waste Incineration System

“ Incineration is a waste intervention procedure that involves the burning of organic substances contained in waste stuffs ( The Wikipedia, 2010 ) ” . Waste stuffs will be converted into ash, fluke gas, and heat thought the waste incineration system. MSW incineration engineering was foremost used at the terminal of 1980 ‘s and experienced a dramatic advancement in 1990 ‘s ( Xiaodong, 2002 ) . Compare with landfill engineering, waste incineration merely necessitate a lower limit of land and the sum of waste can be reduced to about 10 % of the initial value. Besides, ashes from the incinerator can be used as building stuffs and these stuffs could be much cheaper than traditional stuffs. Furthermore, the modern incineration system could bring forth electricity and collect heat energy while MSW is firing, which were considered as green energy.

Although incineration systems can do many benefits, without uncertainties, there still much disadvantages of utilizing incinerator for MSW disposing and it could even present a much more serious menace to the environment. In order to forestall environmental jobs, particularly air pollution, the operation of incineration system must establish on high engineerings ; it means that, a high cost should be wage for MSW intervention. Furthermore, as the Torahs is updating, more advanced equipments possibly required in the hereafter and it may besides be vast of money. Undoubtedly, all of these costs will be shifted on to consumers. Furthermore, even though all incineration systems are utilizing the most advanced engineering, taints may still be discharged. These sorts of taints could be much more unsafe than that produced during landfill procedure, because some high carcinogenicity affairs like dioxin will be discharged to the atmospheric environment during burning. As a consequence, more and more people realize that incineration system is harmful for wellness. For illustration, although the authorities promises that it would non be any unsafe, people in Guangzhou City, China are still contending to avoid an incineration to be built in their metropolis.

Waste Composting System

“ Compost is composed of organic stuffs derived from works and carnal affair that has been decomposed mostly through aerophilic decomposition ( The Wikipedia, 2010 ) ” . The development of MSW composting in China can be divided into three stages ( Yuan, 2000 ) :

The primary phase was from 1950s-1960s. In this phase, people began to analyze the operation mechanism of composting. As a consequence, composting became a new engineering for MSW direction.

The development phase was from 1970s-1980s. Composting experienced a comfortable period in this phase, for illustration, the China authorities chosen 11 types of composting engineerings as distributing engineerings ( Nei, 1992 ) .

The distributing application phase was from 1990s boulder clay presents. The authorities found that composting was a most eco-friendly method in MSW direction, so big sums of money were put into the publicity of composting.

Composting is a about harmless MSW disposing engineering. Compare with landfill and incineration, composting could be carried out in a simple manner, it is suited for little metropoliss, particularly some agricultural countries. Furthermore, wastes will go agricultural fertiliser after a composting procedure, which can organize a good material circulation system.

However, limited by treating efficiency, composting site could merely be built in a smaller graduated table. Furthermore, merely some simple affair such as refuse or animate being and works remains can be disposed by composting. Due to this fact, a successful composting system is base on a well waste categorization system. On the other manus, because of the difference in microbic vegetations, each composting system has a particular operating environment. Temperature, aeration, composing of waste can all go factors which may impact composting.

Choosing a suited method for MSW

As the sum of MSW in China is still lifting aggressively, the contemporary MSW direction system will no longer be utile to work out the job efficaciously. For this ground, to set up a new MSW disposing system is necessary. First of wholly, as consequences of many environmental jobs were caused by landfill, landfill system should be discontinued bit by bit. Although incineration system may do some serious environmental jobs, compared with landfill engineering, it can still be an effectual manner in MSW disposing. On the other manus, composting engineerings should be promoted smartly. However, the constitution of incineration and composting system is under the conditions of good waste categorization. In order to accomplish this end, on the one manus, the authorities should increased promotion and instruction attempts on waste categorization. On the other manus, public installations such as classificatory rubbish bins should be heightening significantly. Furthermore, In order to set up a long-run mechanism, the bonus-penalty mechanism and the market economic system mechanism should be introduced into MSW direction system. By this manner, MSW direction system will associate up with the market economic system, which will do the MSW direction system much more comprehensive.


As a fact that the volume of municipal solid waste in China is increasing aggressively, the presents waste direction system may neglect to run into the processing demands. Landfill engineering, which is busying a dominant place in MSW dispose, should non be promoted any longer because of the monolithic land business and the high-risk in bring forthing environmental pollution jobs. On the other manus, Incineration and composting engineering, which are the freshly development and eco-friendly engineerings, should go major picks. However, merely trusting on the development of new engineerings are non plenty, the alteration of people ‘s attitudes towards waste intervention is the cardinal manner to work out the MSW direction job. To accomplish this intent, the constitution of a market direction mechanism, which can do the MSW direction control by the regulations of market economic system, become a major premiss. To reason, utilizing Incineration and composting engineering as the chief processing system and landfill as an aide is the most suited manner to work out the job of MSW.