China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

China adopts Russian pollution treatment technology

TIANJIN, Dec. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- Tianjin, the largest port city in north China, has signed an agreement with Russia to adopt its pollution technology to treat sewage, sludge and animal waste, sources with the municipal government said Monday.

The document said the city will introduce Russian biological technology to remove heavy metal substances in the sludge and also bring in zymogenic technology to produce fertilizer out of animal waste.

"Untreated animal waste and sludge are the carriers of many infectious diseases. They also pose a threat to the soil and the environment at large. Biological methods are an efficient way to treat that kind of waste", said Wang Zhengxiang, deputy head of the municipal soil and fertilizer research institute.

According to Wang, 42 percent of the farmland in Tianjin is irrigated by sewage water. There are as many as 24 types of harmful heavy metal substances in some farmland, which is much more than the national average. The three major sewage plants produce about 2 million tons of sludge annually.

Currently, sludge is mostly buried and some is even used in farmland in China. Since 80 percent of the country's fowl farms have no pollution handling facilities, most animal waste is discharged without treatment. In 2004 alone, animal waste in Tianjin topped 7.2 million tons.

The parties to the agreement are the Tianjin soil and fertilizer research institute and the Russian agricultural microbiology research institute.

"We are looking forward to the success of the cooperation and we hope it will establish a model for China in the treatment of animal waste and mud pollution," said Irina Alexandrovna Apkh, a professor with the Russian institute.

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