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Waste-to-energy plant in Feilaixia Town, Qingyuan City, Guangdong, China

Hundreds of residents of Feilaixia Town, Qingyuan City of Guangdong gathered in front of the Municipal Government to oppose a large waste-to-energy plant to be built nearby.


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. [1][2][3]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Waste-to-energy plant in Feilaixia Town, Qingyuan City, Guangdong, China
State or province:Guangdong Province
Location of conflict:Shili Village, Feilaixia Town, Qingyuan City
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Incinerators
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The proposed project of Shili village in 2017 was planned to solve Qingyuan City’s 1100 tons of daily waste and the expected waste management fee was 50 RMB per ton (still on discussion). There is around 2053 people in Shili village. As an alternative, the newly approved project was planned to cover about 0.2168 km2, but it was approved to use 0.33491 km2. The project will be constructed into two phases: at the first phase, it was estimated to incinerate 2×750 tons of waste per day; and for the second phase, 1×750 tons of waste were incinerated each day, which would be 2500 tons of waste per day after the completion of the project. The total investment of the project was reported to be 1021.4985 million RMB (around 158 million US dollars by the rate in 13 January, 2021). [10] [11] [14]

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Project area:34
Level of Investment:158,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:85,000
Start of the conflict:07/05/2017
End of the conflict:10/05/2017
Company names or state enterprises:Canvest Environmental Protection Group Company Limited (Hongkong) from Hong Kong SAR, China
Relevant government actors:- Department of Natural Resources of Guangdong Province
- The People’s Government of Qingyuan City
- Qingyuan Party Committee (no official website)
- Qingyuan Municipal Public Security Bureau
- Qingyuan Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau
- The General Office of Qingyuan Municipal People's Government
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsPotential diseases like cancers caused by dioxin
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/sense of place, Displacement
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:The new alternative site for waste to energy project was proposed in a forest farm.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Athough the Government of Qingyua announced the cancellation of project in Shili Village through official channels, the new site planned to set up the incinerator is not too far from the original site.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict


Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Solid Waste Pollution
[click to view]

城市生活垃圾管理办法(2015修正) [现行有效]

Administrative Measures for Urban Living Garbage (2015 Amendment PKULAW Version) [Effective]

Article 7 The construction (environmental sanitation) administrative department of the people's government of a municipality directly under the Central Government, of a city or of a county, shall, jointly with the relevant departments such as the city planning department, work out a plan on the control of urban living garbage and uniformly arrange the distribution of, land to be used for and scale of facilities for the collection and disposal of urban living garbage.

The opinions of the general public shall be widely consulted in the formulation of a plan on the control of urban living garbage.

第七条 直辖市、市、县人民政府建设(环境卫生)主管部门应当会同城市规划等有关部门,依据城市总体规划和本地区国民经济和社会发展计划等,制定城市生活垃圾治理规划,统筹安排城市生活垃圾收集、处置设施的布局、用地和规模。

[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[9] “The incinerator project of Qingyuan, Guangdong in 2017 invoked mass conflicts 2017年广东清远修建垃圾焚烧发电厂印发群体性事件”,

, accessed 12 January 2021

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Baidu Baike, “Qingyuan 清远”,accessed 10 January 2021
[click to view]

[2]Baidu Baike, “ Zhujiang River 珠江”, accessed 9 January 2021
[click to view]

[3] Baidu Baike, “ Beijiang River 北江”, accessed 9 January 2021
[click to view]

[8] Zhong Huaying, “ Authoritative Release. Qingyuan municipal solid waste incineration power plant project was opposed by the public and the original site construction was cancelled.权威发布,清远建垃圾焚烧发电项目遭民众反对取消原址建设”, Beijixing Solid Waste, 11 May 2017, accessed 24 January 2021
[click to view]

[10] “Waste incineration conflict of Feilaixia, Qingyuan 清远飞来峡建垃圾焚烧厂事件”, The People’s Government of Qingyuan City, 23 May 2017, accessed 24 January 2021
[click to view]

[4] The People’s Government of Qingyuan City, “An Announcement from the Qingcheng District People’s Government to the General Public 清远区人民政府致广大市民朋友的一封通告” , 7 May 2017, Beijixing Solid Waste, accessed 9 January 2021
[click to view]

[5] “Canvest Environmental Protection Acquired the Franchise of Qingyuan city’s Waste-to-Energy Plants 粤丰环保收购清远垃圾焚烧发电厂经营权”, Tencent Securities, 24 August 2015, accessed 7 January 2020
[click to view]

[7] Wangluozhengli, “Feilaixia of Qingyuan’s incinerator conflicts, the netizen revealed an astonishing truth 清远飞来峡垃圾焚烧厂事件 真相惊人网友泄内幕”, Zhanjiang News Net, 22 January 2020, accessed 12 January 2021
[click to view]

[6] Congcongguoke,“ Hoping everyone would concern about Feilaxia of Qingyuan’s incinerator conflicts!!! Thanks 希望大家关注一下清远飞来峡垃圾焚烧厂事件!!!谢谢” , Baidu Tieba, 10 May 2017 , accessed 12 January 2021
[click to view]

[11]The People’s Government of Qingyuan City, “Questions on waste incineration of Feilaixia飞来峡垃圾厂问题”, The People’s Government of Qingyuan City, 24 May 2017, accessed 24 January 2021
[click to view]

[12] Qingyuan Zhongtian New Energy Limited, “The public participations of environmental impacts assessments of Qingyuan City’s green energy environmental power plant project(Qingyuan City’s Qingyuan district’s incinerator power plant)and publicity of the information (first time) 清远市绿能环保发电项目(清远市清城区生活垃圾焚烧发电厂)环境影响评价公众参与信息公示(第一次)”, the People’s Government of Qingyuan City,8 November 2019, accessed 13 January 2021
[click to view]

[13] Department of Natural Resources of Guangdong Province, “the Department of Natural Resources of Guangdong Province’s approval of reserve scale implementation proposal(Qingyuan City’s green energy environmental power plant project) of the Qingyuan City’s Qingyuan district’s land use overall plan(years of 2010 to 2020) 广东省自然资源厅关于清远市清城区土地利用总体规划(2010-2020年)预留规模落实方案(清远市绿能环保发电项目)的批复”, The People’s Government of Guangdong Province, 17 December 2019, accessed 11 January 2021
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[15] Yinhaoo, Erqian Salon Community, “Some citizens in Qingyuan are dissatisfied with the construction of a garbage incinerator in Feilaixia Town to protest 清远部分市民不满飞来峡镇建垃圾焚烧厂上街抗议 ”, Erqian Salon Community, 10 May 2017, accessed 11 January 2020
[click to view]

[16] Weibo, "Feilaixia waste incinerator 飞来峡垃圾焚烧", accessed 23 January 2020
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice, ICTA-UAB/2018 intern LZF, 2021 intern ZN
Last update15/02/2021
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