July 24, 2008

Beijing Launches Waste Recycling Campaign in Olympic Venues

Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)

[Xinhua: "Beijing Launches Waste Recycling Campaign in Olympic Venues"]

BEIJING, July 24 (Xinhua) - Beijing kicked off a waste collection and recycling project Wednesday in all Olympic venues, about two weeks before the opening of the summer Games.

Based on the expected volume of spectators, the 31 venues in the city are expected to jointly produce some 14,000 tonnes of trash, including leftovers, paper, plastic bottles and medical waste, during the sports events, according to the Beijing Municipal Administration Commission.

Beijing has pledged to make 50 per cent of this waste useful after recycling, a common standard fulfilled by most host countries of the Games.

Food waste must be moved away from stadiums within four hours and other rubbish will be cleared up and transported to four sorting centres and processing plants in Beijing's suburbs after matches, according to the commission.

In addition, water recycling measures have been adopted on some Olympic sites since March, which will help the city to save 30 million cubic meters of clean water a year, said Wang Hongchen, chief engineer with Beijing Sewage Company in charge of the project.

After filtering, reverse osmosis, active carbon absorption, ozone oxygenation and other advanced treatments by a sewage plant and two water recycling plants, recycled water will become safe enough for reuse, according to Wang.

Since 2001, six sewage factories have been operating to provide 2.54 million cubic meters of water a day for industry, farming, sightseeing lakes, and forestation needs.

Beijing officials had said that there was no need to worry about water supply during the Games as the city was able to combine all water resources, including reservoirs, underground water and rainfall, to meet the demand despite nine years of drought.

Water saving has been a primary task. The city used 4 billion cubic meters of water in 2000 and 3.4 billion cubic meters last year, a saving of almost 100 million cubic meters a year.

In 2007, it used 480 million cubic meters of recycled water, or 14 per cent of the total water supply, to supplement watercourses, car washing and crop irrigation.

Originally published by Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 0801 24 Jul 08.

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