Lawmakers push prompt actions to control hazardous waste

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BEIJING, Nov. 2 – Chinese lawmakers have called for prompt action to control hazardous waste which they believed has become a serious problem.

Hazardous waste is among the most urgent problems in solid waste control, Luo Liangquan, member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), said at a panel discussion Thursday.

On Wednesday lawmakers heard a report from the NPC Standing Committee on enforcement of the Solid Waste Control Law, warning of the grave situation in solid waste control, in particular concerning hazardous waste.

More than half of the nation’s hazardous waste is being disposed of by producers, most of which is unsupervised, according to the report delivered to the NPC Standing Committee at its six-day bimonthly session.

On the other hand, more than 40 percent of hazardous waste disposal capacity remains unused, the report added.

“Hazardous waste is like a bomb that may trigger at any time if not controlled properly,” said He Yehua, another committee member.

Luo warned of poor management of hazardous waste disposal, saying that some local governments do not have accurate information about how much hazardous waste is produced within their jurisdiction and how it is being disposed of, which impedes the controls. In addition, a hazardous waste classification system has yet to be established.

Luo called for more standard and clearer identification and classification of hazardous waste and tighter supervision on hazardous waste disposal.

Committee member Liu Zhengkui noted that punishment for illegal transport and disposal of hazardous waste is too lenient in some cases, failing to deter offenders.

“Local governments should be encouraged to enact regulations on hazardous waste treatment, and share good practices in dealing with this problem,” he suggested.

Liu also stressed the role of the market and suggested promotion of the public-private partnership (PPP) model in handling hazardous waste.

(Copyright Xinhua, obtained through National News Agency)

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