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J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2001 Feb;51(2):250-63.

Municipal solid waste characteristics and management in China.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.


The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate the current status and identify the problems of municipal solid waste (MSW) management in China in order to determine appropriate remedial strategies. This is the first of two papers, discussing primarily the general characteristics of MSW and its management in China. The second paper focuses on specific remedial strategies. MSW generation in China has increased rapidly in the past 20 years from 31.3 million tons in 1980 to 113.0 million tons in 1998. The annual rate of increase is 3-10%. The average generation per capita is 1.0 kg/day (0.38 t/year). Nearly one-half of the waste generated is dumped in the suburbs, where the accumulated quantity has reached 6 billion tons, which has caused heavy environmental pollution. This paper provides information on MSW management in China, such as MSW generation and its physical, chemical, and biological properties. Low calorific value and high moisture content characterize China's municipal waste. Other issues related to MSW management in China are also discussed, including the factors that influence MSW generation quantity and

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