China’s largest landfill dump is already full – 25 years ahead of schedule.
“We have been gradually shutting down the site since October and will do so completely after the waste is commissioned to incineration facilities,” said by Shen Chaofeng, deputy head of the solid waste management department under the Xi’an Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau.
The Jiangcungou landfill in Shanxi Province, which is the size of around 100 football fields, was designed to take 2,500 tonnes of rubbish per day, but is massively overburdened, handling four times as much trash daily as was originally intended.
It received 10,000 tonnes of waste per day – the most of any landfill site in China.
The landfill serves over 8 million citizens. It spans an area of almost 700,000 square metres, with a depth of 150 metres and a storage capacity of more than 34 million cubic metres.
Until recently, Xi’an was one of the few cities in China that solely relied on landfill to dispose of household waste – leading to capacity being reached early.
Earlier this month, a new incineration plant was opened, and at least four more are expected to open by 2020. Together, they are expected to be able to process 12,750 tonnes of rubbish.
The move is part of a national plan to reduce the number of landfills, and instead use other waste disposal methods like incineration.
The landfill site in Xi’an will eventually become an “ecological park”.