Qingyuan is the biggest city in Guangdong province in terms of its land size of 19,000 km2 and has 3.8 million population. It locates by the mid-upstream of Beijiang River and it is one of the core cities at the Pearl River delta. Beijiang River is one of the main streams of the Zhujiang River system, which is the second-largest river in China by flow rate, the third-longest river in mainland China and it flows into the South China Sea. Feilaixia town of Qingyuan City locates at the midstream of Beijiang River and the part of Beijiang flows by this region accounts for a length of 9000 meters. Besides, two of the three main municipal drinking water sources of Qingyuan were sourced from the Beijiang River. 
The growing GDP in the region brought out unprecedented development to Qingyuan, as well as waste management problems. According to the relevant data, more than 1,100 tons of waste were filled per day in Qingshan landfill of Qingyuan and its capacity was predicted to be applicable only until 2019. Thus, the Government of Qingyuan City, together with some specialists, proposed to build an incinerator by the Beijiang River in Shili Village, Feilaixia Town to solve the problem. In April 2017, more than 600 people including Feilaixia Town’s governors, villagers and teachers had several field visits to Kewei Waste-to-Energy Plant in Dongguan (an industrial city in Guangdong Province) to learn about the process of the waste-to-energy project. Dongguan waste incinerator is operated by Canvest Environmental Protection Group (CEPG), a company from Hongkong with World Prosperous Investments Limited (Hongkong) as its biggest shareholder. On 24 August 2015, CEPG purchased the entire issued share of Tiancui Company at CNY 230 million (around USD 33.512 million based on the currency on 13 January, 2020) for owning the franchise right to construct waste incineration power plants in Qingyuan. 
The selected location of Shili Village’s center is 712 meters from the nearest exit of S14 highway (Shanzhan highway), 1km from Beijiang River, 8.4 km from Feilaixia Town and 31.2km from the city center of Qingyuan. The village has 2,053 people with around 0.953 km2 arable land. As the site is by the Beijang river, it is fertile with sufficient water resources and famous for winter melon and tangerine products. Historically, the place attracts great numbers of tourists with its densely grown plantations and especially for its great views of Feilaixia Canyon. Therefore, after hearing about the project plan, the citizens of Qingyuan became mainly concerned that the proposed location of the incinerator site would potentially pollute Beijiang River and their public drinking water system, and the Dioxin emissions from the incinerator would potentially cause diseases like cancers.
Since April 2017, Feilaixia town conducted an investigation on the land acquisition intention for the project. From April to May 2017, numbers of locals gathered respectively at the village committee of Shili Village and the Government of Feilaixia Town to learn about the project and expressed their unwillingness to have an incinerator nearby their place of residence. Later, Qingyuan Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau of and the Government of Feilaixia Town assigned officers to communicate with villagers and explain the project. It ended without effects. On 7 May 2017, around 400 citizens gathered in front of the south square of the People’s Government of Qingyuan City and protested against the set-up of the incineration project. Subsequently, they walked to the main streets and bridges of Qingyuan where many stores and shopping centers are located. Their purpose was to attract more people’s attention to the issue. In the end, the police arrived to evacuate the protestors. Some were arrested for they were suspected of disturbing public order and blocking traffic. The conflict caused many injuries to protestors. Besides, it got widespread concern among netizens especially on social media of Weibo: some posted against the set-up of the projects; some complained about the police beatings of locals in the street; some expressed concerns on the selected location and the potential risks from drinking water. 
On 10 May 2017, the Information Office of Qingyuan Municipality held a meeting on the proposed waste-to-energy project, and the then-mayor announced that the government had adopted the view of public opinion and decided to call off the incineration project in the proposed location of Shili Village. On 23 and 24 May 2017, the General Office of Qingyuan Municipal People's Government replied to citizens’ complaints about the incineration project and police suppression which they had written on 7 and 9 May in the official website. The Office stated that the proposed project in Shili village would not affect the up and down-stream of Beijiang River’s surrounding environment and people's health for three reasons: (1) the incineration would adopt advanced incinerating and emissions control technology of Martin Company from Germany, which the furnace temperature would be controlled at about 1000 ℃ (higher than the national standard of 850 ℃), the main indicators meet the requirements of EU 2000 (2000 / 76 / EC) and the emission met the latest national standard. Besides, the dioxin emissions would be controlled below 0.1ngteq/nm3, and the amount of dioxin emitted from the daily capacity of 1500 tons of waste would be equivalent to the dioxion emitted from five cars, which will not cause any air pollution; (2) The project would simultaneously build a landfill leachate treatment system with biochemical reaction, nano membrane filtration and other processes. This system could treat a small amount of leachate produced in the temporary storage process of garbage storage bin to the standard of reclaimed water reuse, and the treated reclaimed water could be used for cooling generator set, etc. These processes eventually would result in zero wastewater from the plant to the outside. (3) Advanced waste incineration plants have little impact on the surrounding environment as long as the construction standard is high; the pollution control is strict; the operation management is good, and the supervision is strong. Whether living nearby or living in the factory, there would be no health problems. At present, the pollution control standard of domestic waste incineration is becoming more and more strict in China, and the new Environmental Protection Law is becoming more and more complete and strict in the control of environmental pollution. In the future, the dioxin emission concentration of waste incineration plants would be further declined. Till now, there are about 33 waste incineration projects in Guangdong Province. Among them, 7 projects have been completed and under construction in Guangzhou, 7 have been completed and put into operation in Dongguan, and 6 have been completed and put into operation in Shenzhen. The waste incineration plants built and operated in these places did not cause any pollution to the surrounding environment, nor did they affect the people working and living in the surrounding areas.
Besides, the Office also declared that the municipal Party committee and the municipal government had fully listened, understood and respected the opinions of the masses as well as they presented the pressure of the current waste management. They stated that in order to smoothly promote the construction of municipal waste treatment facilities in the future, they would strengthen the publicity of popular science knowledge on municipal solid waste incineration, and organize citizens to visit the operation of Qingshan landfill, as well as to promote early ideological education for the next step to solve the problem of garbage siege. 
However, on 8 November, 2019, the People’s Government of Qingyuan City announced the upcoming incinerator project would be planned to construct in Tiantangshan forest of Feilaixia Town, Qingyuan City. This newly proposed site is 18.2 km drive from the earlier proposed location of Shili Village and 47.9km from Qingyuan city center. The construction company is Qingyuan Zhongtian New Energy Limited and it has entrusted Guangdong Jiangyang Environmental Protection Consulting Service Co., Ltd. to undertake the environmental impact assessments of the proposed incineration power plant in Qingyuan City, which also welcomed public participations by filling their given forms and sent to them by email. On 17 December 2019, the Department of Natural Resources of Guangdong Province approved the land use of Qingyuan’s incinerator project in Tiantangshan forest. It planned to use 0.33491 km2 of land for the incinerator construction including a piece of land located in Tiantangshan forest farm and Shegang Village of Feilaixia Town, which currently remained as 0.332 km2 land for agricultural use and 1917 m2 land for construction use.