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.
October 25, 2013, 10am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"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."

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Published on Sunday, October 20, 2013 in The New York Times
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