China's largest rubbish dump to close as it fills to limit - 25 years ahead of schedule

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
A bulldozer evens out garbage at a waste landfill site in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province (REUTERS)

China’s largest landfill site will shut down nearly 30 years ahead of its scheduled full capacity, as the country battles a growing waste problem.

Jiangcungou landfill in Shaanxi Province was originally designed to take 2,500 tonnes of rubbish per day.

The gargantuan mega-dump in Xi'an city was built in 1994 - and was supposed to last until 2044.

A worker prepares to cover the waste with a capping layer (GETTY)

The dump receives an estimated 10,000 tonnes of waste per day and is now closing some 25 years early.

The huge rubbish dump covers around 700,000 square metres in area, with a depth of 150 metres, as well as a waste storage capacity of more than 34 million cubic metres.

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After its closure, it is thought an ecological park will be built on the site.

Sun Jianjun, who is responsible for processing the rubbish in Xi'an's city administration bureau, said: "This place will become a large ecological park and reopen to the public with a better environment.”

China's largest refuse landfill was set to close in October 2019 as it was almost saturated in Xi'an city, northeast China's Shaanxi province (PA)

Chinese broadcaster CCTV report an electric power generation by a waste incineration project will take over the task of waste disposal. 

The closure of Jiangcungou is part of nationwide drive to reduce the number of landfills and make way for disposal methods such as incineration.

A man looks at piled up rubbish at a housing complex in the former French concession in Shanghai (GETTY)

China is one of the world's biggest polluters, and has been struggling for years with the rubbish its 1.4 billion citizens generate.

Classified garbage is packaged at a refuse processing plant Getty Images)

China also dealt with waste from other countries, taking in seven million tonnes of plastic rubbish from Europe, Japan and the US in 2017 - and 27 million tonnes of waste paper.

But at end of that year, China decided to ban the import of 24 different grades of rubbish.