Multi-billion dollar recycling project targets industrial waste around Beijing

Updated: 2015-07-27 10:18


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BEIJING - Six provincial regions have jointly launched a resource recycling project to handle industrial waste in areas surrounding the Chinese capital.

By 2017, 400 million tons of industrial solid waste will be disposed of annually after the implementation of the project. The project was initiated by Beijing and its surrounding municipalities and provinces, including Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong, as well as the Inner Mongolian autonomous region.

Under the project, planners aim to develop an industry able to recycle 20 million tons of resources each year and with its output value reaching 220 billion yuan ($35.4 billion) by 2017.

The project will help foster new economic growth, alleviate environmental and resource restrictions and promote regional coordinated development, said Mao Weiming, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The move is also part of an interprovincial program for integrated development between Beijing and the nearby Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province. Environmental protection is a priority of the program.

As an economic hub in north China, Beijing and its surrounding areas produce a large chunk of the country's industrial solid waste, such as gravel, slag, plastics and coal ash.

That has put increasing pressure on the environment, especially with a growing threat to water quality in those regions.

In 2014, 2.37 billion tons of bulky industrial solid waste was produced in Beijing and the five provincial regions surrounding it, taking up more than 70 percent of the country's total.

To meet the construction demand in these areas, pollutants from explosives used in quarrying each year exceed the annual emissions of all motor vehicles in Beijing.

Resource recycling is a fundamental solution to the industrial waste threat, but the development of the industry faces several problems, including technological difficulties and lack of integration, said Bi Junsheng, an official with the MIIT.