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Costly Chinese ecological park being used by locals as giant rubbish dump

An ecological wetland park being built at a cost of billions of yuan in eastern China is being turned into a huge rubbish dump.

The Shangqinhuai wetland park, in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, was once hailed as “the green lung of Nanjing” when the plans were first made public in 2012, Yangtze Evening Post reported.

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But residents have discovered that a lack of supervision at the site means it can be freely used as a dumping site for household waste and rubble from construction sites.

Up to 30 billion yuan (HK$34 billion) is reportedly being invested in creating the state-level ecological park. The first stage of the project was due to have been completed in September, the report said.

A reporter discovered piles of rubbish in the park, including discarded household items and construction waste, such as paint tins and plastic bags, during a visit on October 11.

People had been dumping waste at the site since a road close to the park had been opened to traffic two months ago, residents told the newspaper.

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Residents said they were concerned that the waste would harm the ecology of the park because most of the rubbish were non-perishable plastic products.

An urban management official responsible for the park said patrols were carried out around the site, but that it was impossible to stop people dumping rubbish. The official said he would report the problem to his superior.

A local planning department official said final plans for the wetland park had not yet been unveiled and work was continuing.

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In 2012, local authorities reported that construction of the wetland park, covering an area of 28.7 square km, would start in 2013.

But media reports in March said the area of the site had since been reduced in size to just 14.39 sq km, the newspaper reported.