Wuhan, like many cities in China, faces a waste disposal problem, as growing urbanization leads to dense population centers with little room for refuse. The Chenjiachong Sanitary Landfill in Xinzhou district of Wuhan City started operation in 2007, with a design capacity of 14,000,000 m3 and a daily waste dumping capacity of 2,000 tons in the first 5 years.  However, the waste deposition rate reached approximately 2,500 tons/day in 2008 and exceeded its capacity soon in the next five years. Currently, around 5,000 tons of waste is disposed in this site every day. 
According to a design document of a Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) project initiated in 2008, Chenjiachong Sanitary Landfill tried to capture and utilize the landfill gas (LFG) so as to reduce methane emission to atmosphere, while the landfill gas was emitted freely into the atmosphere and was not captured for flaring and/or energy production purposes before the implementation of the CDM project.  However, this had not helped with the reduction of complains from the local residents as they had to put up the disgusting smell for the landfill especially during nights and the summer time. They had been complaining online about the smell from Chenjiachong landfill for many years and the local government tried to reassure them by announcing that it was putting thicker plastic films over the waste and installing an air purification system. At the same time, the landfill site was expected to be closed in 2020 and turned into a park. 
Residents asked about the progress of the project in early June 2019 and were told that the authorities were still choosing a site. However, in mid-June, some of the residents learned that the park plan was replaced with a waste-to-energy plant, built at the site of an existing Chenjiachong Landfill. According to city planning documents, it will cost 199 million yuan (roughly $29 million) and, will process 3,000 tons of waste per day (2,000 tons for the first phase). The plant will be the sixth waste-to-energy plant in the city and is part of a larger project to create a “circular economy” industrial park in the zone, as waste-to-energy conversion plants purport to burn trash to produce electricity, have been celebrated as a source of renewable energy. Wuhan’s city message board contains several complaints about smells emanating from the landfill currently located in Yangluo, as well as concerns about the construction of the new landfills. 
Residents have good reason to be concerned about the construction of the Chenjiachong plant in particular. Those concerns are delineated in a letter  allegedly written by representatives of the Yangluo community and posted on the “Wuhan Top Headlines” Weibo account (the post was blocked or deleted after 28 June 2019, but reposted on 1 July) . Concerns included the capability of the company itself and the placement of the plant, which is located just 800 meters from some residences, rather than the minimum 1.5 km recommended by publicly available plans for the area . The letter notes that the company given the contract for the project, Wuhan Huaneng Rongcheng Renewable Resources Co., Ltd. (a state-owned enterprise), was only created on April 17, 2019, just two days before Yangtze New City, the group operating a larger circular economy, filed the project. City records show that name approval for Wuhan Huaneng Rongcheng was granted on April 11, 2019.
Street protests were set off by noisy construction work near the landfill that apparently led some residents to believe that work on the incinerator had begun. But the Xinzhou district government said the noise was from the demolition of a nearby rail line. On 28 June 2019, as many as 10,000 people marched to voice their opposition over the construction of the Chenjiachong waste-to-energy plant (incinerator) which has sparked widespread safety concerns, over fears that the toxic emissions including dioxin from such plants can cause lung disease, leukemia, and cancers. Marchers chanted “give us back the green mountains and clear waters” , “Ban garbage burning!” “Waste-to-energy plant get out!” Young people played a central role in the protests, with similarities to the latest worldwide climate protests. 
Videos and comments circulating on Weibo show hundreds of riot police and suggest those police beat protesters (including the elderly). By Sunday, 30 June, the topic had been viewed by over 231 million Weibo users, at which point it was removed from “hot searches” on Weibo. Media and legal experts interviewed by a local media company echoed many of the protesters’ concerns, noting that the protests stemmed from a lack of transparency and community consultation. While commentators generally suggested that the project was necessary, they highlighted the need for better education of the people and greater public communication. Both netizens and Yangluo residents emphasized that their requests were modest: they were not objecting to the construction of the plant, they just wanted it moved farther away from their homes. While some held out hope for a satisfactory answer from the government, the government’s lack of commitment to serving the people was also frequently condemned. 
Assurances from the local government that the incinerator would not be installed without further environmental studies and community approval were met with deep distrust. Smaller protests continued on July 1 and 2, then 10,000 demonstrators defiantly marched back onto the streets on July 3 for two days. The local government forced businesses to close at 6 p.m. on July 4 in an effort to remove protesters from the streets. The mobile phone network was also disabled. According to reports, around 1,000 riot police returned, armed with helmets, shields and batons, as well as an armoured car, to disperse the demonstrations that night. 
Even as they discourage further protests, the local authorities in Wuhan have tried to assure residents that their voices are being heard. “The people’s government of the district fully guarantees the participation rights and supervision rights of the masses,” read a statement from the Xinzhou district in eastern Wuhan, the site of the proposed incinerator. But the statement also warned, “Public security organizations will resolutely crack down on illegal criminal acts such as malicious incitement and provocation.” 
On July 7, an official with the Xinzhou government in Wuhan told Global Times that the project had created “misunderstandings” among the public. The city could not continue to rely on landfills to handle its waste problems, the incineration plant was at the proposal stage and had yet to make substantial progress, but it would consult with local people before making a final decision. Xinzhou District officials also issued a statement on its Weibo account explaining how they attached great importance to local residents' opinions, and said, "the project will never start if people disagree with it." Protests seem to have stopped, but according to locals, a heavy police presence remains in the city.