China Confronts Troubling By-Product of Urbanization: Mountains of Construction Rubble

China's rapid rebuilding effort has produced mountains of debris as old cities are replaced with gleaming new metropolises. Illegal dumping is coming under fire as it gets more and more difficult to conceal the evidence.

"While the problem is often concealed, with hundreds of millions of tons of waste quietly dumped on the outskirts of China’s major cities each year, the rate of growth has made it increasingly inescapable," writes Austin Ramzy. "Now, hardly a week goes by without residents of some suburban enclave or village near a major metropolis waking to discover an illegal waste dump rising near their homes."

"China’s economic growth has seen increases in all sorts of waste, as consumers buy, and throw away, much more than ever before. But while Chinese cities have extensive recycling networks, with rag-pickers pedaling three-wheeled bicycles to buy and sell all sorts of plastic, metal and paper waste, construction debris is almost completely discarded."

Full Story: China’s Mountains of Construction Rubble

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95