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A New Front Line for China’s NIMBY Environmental Movement: Waste Incinerators

Chinese police with shields during a protest against the construction of a waste incinerator in Yuhang district, Hangzhou in China's Zhejiang province on May 11
Chinese police with shields during a protest against the construction of a waste incinerator in Yuhang district, Hangzhou in China's Zhejiang province on May 11Photograph by Hong/AP Photo

On Wednesday, nearly a thousand residents of an upscale condo complex in southern Guangdong province’s Panyu city marched to a nearby construction site to protest what the government was building there: a waste incinerator plant.

Some residents stood in the street, blocking traffic into and out of the site, while others hung handmade banners listing their grievances on the adjacent Nanpu Bridge. Their main concern was that burning trash would release toxins into the air. A second sore spot: the opaqueness of the government’s decision-making process.