China waste treatment plant fined $16m for dumping untreated waste

A waste treatment plant in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou was ordered by a local court on Friday to pay more than 110 million yuan (about 16.1 million dollars) for secretly dumping nearly 248,000 tonnes of solid waste that inflicted damage on the ecological environment.

A waste treatment plant in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou was ordered by a local court on Friday to pay more than 110 million yuan (about 16.1 million dollars) for secretly dumping nearly 248,000 tonnes of solid waste.

The waste will inflict damage on the ecological environment.

The Intermediate People’s Court in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, delivered the verdict for the public-interest lawsuit that had sparked widespread attention.

The court found that the Weijie waste treatment plant dumped untreated waste as well as slags from garbage burning onto a mountainous area the plant leased from a local economic cooperative in 2007.

In pursuit of profits and without caring about the public interest, the plant had been damaging the local environment for nearly 10 years.

The damaged environment could not be fully restored in the short term, the court said.

During an on-site inspection in August 2016, the local environmental protection authorities of the city’s Huadu District found that the plant’s solid waste treatment facilities were not operational and the plant dumped untreated waste in its contracted mountainous area.

A follow-up investigation found that the plant dumped about 400,000 cubic meters, or nearly 248,000 tonnes, of garbage at the site.

Local authorities have launched a series of initiatives to clear the garbage and restore the environment since September 2019.

The restoration works incurred a cost of more than 110 million yuan, the court said.

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