Xinhua News reported on December 1 that public hearings will be held regarding the city of Guangzhou’s proposal to build a garbage incinerator in the city’s Panyu District.  What sparked the public hearings were the protests that took place in late November over the proposed incinerator.

Guangdong province generates more than 27 million tonnes of garbage annually. Many areas in the province are unequipped to deal with that amount of garbage.

The primary concerns of the protesting residents are likely attributed to the health risks posed to villagers near the site of the proposed incinerator.  More than 50 deaths related to cancer have occurred since operations began at an incinerator in the Baiyuan District of Guangzhou.

Li Qing, director of Guangdong’s provincial administration of environmental protection, told a press conference that the administration “plan[s] to hold public hearings after the project contractor submits environment assessment report.”

Holding public hearings on the proposed incinerator represents a step forward in the way Chinese cities are beginning to deal with the growing concern of environmental pollution.