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Experts: Use Waste to Save Resources

Beijing is committed to a "Green Olympics", however, the city still has a long way to go before it is on the "right track".

The National Stadium, dubbed the Bird's Nest, will be equipped with solar power and other energy-saving devices.

Collected rainwater will be used for flushing of toilets, watering lawns, washing cars and floors, while solar power will be used for the lighting system, said Ding Gao, deputy director of the energy-saving construction and new energy centre under the China Architecture Design and Research Group.

"The technology is applicable to most constructions," Ding said yesterday at a seminar on efficient and clean ways for the city's fast urbanization.

Policymakers, urban designers and consultants and business leaders attended the seminar as part of the on-going "Energy-Saving and Environmental Protection Week" program.

Besides natural resources, garbage, if properly disposed, could generate power as well, according to the experts.

Beijing's first-ever two-in-one power plant using waste, is expected to start operating by the end of year. It will use 1,600 tons of waste a day.

The city generates 12,000 tons solid waste every day, according to statistics.

"Building a power plant fueled by waste is a win-win solution," said Wang Weiping, an expert with the Beijing-based Renmin University.

Beijing has witnessed a big increase in urban solid waste, from 3.17 million tons in 1990 to 5.4 million today.

The traditional disposal methods of burying waste, which requires large areas of land, and which subsequently emits poisonous gases, is completely outdated, Wang said.

Waste incineration, a common practice in developed countries, has great potential in Beijing, said Seghers Hendrik, managing director of Biomax.

"Incineration is the only viable solution for solid waste in densely populated areas like China and Western Europe," he said.

Bela Doren, former mayor of Cologne, Germany, said a successful urban design should abide by an "eco-city" model.

"Go with the topography, live with the weather, the water, the handling of sewage and waste and utilize local energy resources," Bela said.

(China Daily June 12, 2007)

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