Langtang incinerator stopped in Luoding, Guangdong, China

Plans for an incinerator in Langtang township, Luoding city, belonging to China Resources Cement Holdings, were discarded after demonstrations by citizens and clashes with the police in April 2015.

Cement factories want to burn waste. Citizens think this is dangerous. On 9th April  2015 the government of Luoding City, 180 km west of the provincial capital Guangzhou, said on its website it was canceling approval of an incinerator due to be built at a local cement works, “in response to public demands” [1] . The protests began when many people rallied outside the factory belonging to China Resources Cement Holdings, one of China’s biggest producers. Several people were injured during clashes when police tried to disperse a crowd of protesters. The Luoding city  informed the Langtang township government that it had decided to cancel the project, which Langtang had brokered with China Resources Cement Holdings after residents of the town engaged in a stand-off with police on 7 April 2015 in protest against what they said was the violent handling of a peaceful sit-in against the incinerator on 6 April 2015. "People are angry with the site selection of the incinerator as it is within a 1km radius of their homes," said one resident. "The cement plant is producing enough pollution, we don't need another polluter." Residents said that about 1000 locals turned up to the sit-in on 6 April 2015.  "It was very brutal and totally unnecessary to use such force against unarmed civilians during a peaceful and rational demonstration, especially as they attacked children too." Luoding city government claimed that  "A small number of troublemakers instigated the crowd," to block roads and throw rocks at plant staff. Police arrested the 'troublemakers,' but 400 others gathered the next day, with some throwing rocks and glass bottles and vandalising police cars ... " [3][4] Residents quoted by Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post [2], said trouble started after 100 police and security guards in riot gear began beating people who took part in the sit-in at the plant, and later arrested several participants. One resident told the paper that her 14-year old nephew had suffered concussion, in what he described as a “brutal and totally unnecessary” use of force against a “peaceful and rational” demonstration. As many as 10,000 people then took part in a demonstration the following day, to protest against the violence, according to the paper, and local schoolchildren also seem to have boycotted classes in protest. Photographs  showed police with helmets and riot shields in a face-off with protesters outside the local government headquarters of nearby Langtang township.   The clash is one in a series of demonstrations against waste disposal incinerators located near heavily populated urban areas, which have highlighted environmental tensions caused by the rapid growth of China’s consumer economy -- and of resultant waste. Last year, a similar project in Hangzhou in eastern China was suspended following public protests. And there have been a string of protests against incinerators planned for the Guangdong provincial capital of Guangzhou in recent years. Some experts say the protests are an example of "Nimbyism." Ma Jun of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in Beijing, told the Global Times that using high temperature furnaces like those in the cement works to burn waste released relatively little pollution. However, he acknowledged that some pollution was inevitable, and that to avoid future conflicts there was a need for “more transparency and information disclosure,” and public consultation about such projects. A series of environmental disasters has fueled public concerns about such projects in China.   In a comment emailed to International Business Times, Ma Tianjie, mainland China program director at Greenpeace East Asia, said local officials should “serve more as a steward of due process," guaranteeing “the public's right to know and participate in decision making” regarding such projects [4].
Basic Data
NameLangtang incinerator stopped in Luoding, Guangdong, China
SiteLangtang, Luoding city
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Waste Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Incinerators
Specific CommoditiesDomestic municipal waste
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIncinerator in Langtang township, Luoding city, belonging to China Resources Cement Holdings. Luoding authorities said that the incinerator project had been proposed in line with national policies encouraging the cement industry to participate in solid-waste disposal. [5]
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population10,000
Start Date2015
End Date15/04/2015
Company Names or State EnterprisesChina Resources Cement Holding from China
Relevant government actorsLuoding city government
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersInstitute of Public and Environmental Affairs, Beijing

Greenpeace East Asia

Local citizens in Langtang township
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Sit-ins. Also school children boycott of classes
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Other Health impacts
OtherAlleged risk of dioxin
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseRepression
Violent targeting of activists
Project cancelled
Development of AlternativesLuoding city government in Guangdong province said that the project fit a national policy to encourage solid waste processing in the cement industry, but that it was cancelled "in response to public demands." Thousands of residents fearful of pollution clashed with police. A resident surnamed Huang was quoted as saying that people also wanted the company that was to build the incinerator to reduce pollution at its local cement factory.

Read more at:
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.In April 2015 the government of Luoding City acknowledged after demonstrations and clashes with the police, that in response to public demand it was cancelling approval of the incinerator due to be built at a factory belonging to China Resources Cement Holding in Langtang.
Sources and Materials

Background: TO BURN OR NOT TO BURN, October 5, 2015 | by LIU SHA (刘莎)
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Background: Report by GAIA on incineration of waste in cement kilns
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[4] China Cancels Waste Incinerator Project After Environmental Protest Turns Violent. By Duncan Hewitt @dhewittChina On 04/09/15
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[2] South China Morning Post, Incinerator plan cancelled after thousands join violent protests in Chinese town. Police cars flipped during demonstrations in western Guangdong
09 April, 2015
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[3] China: Incinerator construction plan in Langtang called off after strong protest from villagers
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[1] Waste incinerator cancelled after violent protests. Written by Global Cement staff. 09 April 2015
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[5] China Scraps Waste-Incinerator Project Amid Protests. Chinese residents are increasingly willing to oppose government plans seen to be polluting. CHUN HAN WONG, April 9, 2015.
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Other Documents

Source: Macau daily
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