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Waste incinerator in Boluo county, Guangdong, China

In September 2014, thousands of residents took to the streets during one weekend to protest against the development of a proposed garbage incinerator in Boluo County, Guangdong. Following the protest, 24 protestors were detained.


In Sept 2014, thousands of residents took to the streets during one weekend to protest against the development of a proposed garbage incinerator in Boluo County, Guangdong [1]. Following the protest, 24 protestors were detained. With its growing population, waste treatment has becoming a serious problem in China, which has been worsened by massive shipments of rubbish from other developed countries. In recent years, the Chinese government has initiated waste-to-energy projects in order to develop renewable sources of energy, many of which have been protested by Chinese residents fearful of their toxic byproducts (ibid).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Waste incinerator in Boluo county, Guangdong, China
State or province:Guangdong
Location of conflict:Luoyang town, Boluo
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Industrial waste
General waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

700 metric tons of waste treated (per day)

Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:approx 10,000
Start of the conflict:13/09/2014
End of the conflict:14/09/2014
Relevant government actors:Luoyang, Boluo county officials, government of Huizhou city
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Boluo residents, Chinese netizens
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Media based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Fires, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Repression
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain: The Huizhou Daily, the official newspaper of an area that includes Boluo, quoted a government spokesman who denied that the proposed plant’s site had already been decided and hinted at some leeway in resolving the matter [2].
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Background to the Boluo case and other cases of opposition to incinerators in China. China Daily. June 6, 2016. The burning question of household waste. By Zheng Jinran
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Thousands march in protest of proposed garbage incineration plant in southern China
[click to view]

[2] In Southern China, Residents Wary of the Government Protest a Plan to Burn Waste
[click to view]

[3] Thousands protest against waste incinerator plans in Guangdong town
[click to view]

Guangdong villagers protest incinerator. By Chen Heying Source:Global Times Published: 2014-9-15
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

RFA, Police Hold 21 After Waste Plant Protest in China's Guangdong, 15 Sept. 2014
[click to view]

Chinese increasingly protest projects that threaten environment, 16 Sept. 2014. By Stuart Leavenworth - McClatchy Foreign Staff.
[click to view]

China, Guangdong Province, Boluo Anti-waste incineration, power plant march , 12 Sept. 2009
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EJOLT team at School of Geography and China Centre, University of Oxford
Last update10/11/2016
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