Waste incinerator in Boluo county, Guangdong, China

In September 2014, thousands of residents took to the streets during one weekend to protest against the development of a proposed garbage incinerator in Boluo County, Guangdong. Following the protest, 24 protestors were detained.


In Sept 2014, thousands of residents took to the streets during one weekend to protest against the development of a proposed garbage incinerator in Boluo County, Guangdong [1]. Following the protest, 24 protestors were detained. With its growing population, waste treatment has becoming a serious problem in China, which has been worsened by massive shipments of rubbish from other developed countries. In recent years, the Chinese government has initiated waste-to-energy projects in order to develop renewable sources of energy, many of which have been protested by Chinese residents fearful of their toxic byproducts (ibid).

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Basic Data
NameWaste incinerator in Boluo county, Guangdong, China
SiteLuoyang town, Boluo
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Waste Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Urban development conflicts
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
General waste
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project Details700 metric tons of waste treated (per day)
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Populationapprox 10,000
Start Date13/09/2014
End Date14/09/2014
Relevant government actorsLuoyang, Boluo county officials, government of Huizhou city
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersBoluo residents, Chinese netizens
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 MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationMedia based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Fires, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseRepression
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly. The Huizhou Daily, the official newspaper of an area that includes Boluo, quoted a government spokesman who denied that the proposed plant’s site had already been decided and hinted at some leeway in resolving the matter [2].
Sources and Materials

Background to the Boluo case and other cases of opposition to incinerators in China. China Daily. June 6, 2016. The burning question of household waste. By Zheng Jinran
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[1] Thousands march in protest of proposed garbage incineration plant in southern China
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[2] In Southern China, Residents Wary of the Government Protest a Plan to Burn Waste
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[3] Thousands protest against waste incinerator plans in Guangdong town
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Guangdong villagers protest incinerator. By Chen Heying Source:Global Times Published: 2014-9-15
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Media Links

China, Guangdong Province, Boluo Anti-waste incineration, power plant march , 12 Sept. 2009
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Chinese increasingly protest projects that threaten environment, 16 Sept. 2014. By Stuart Leavenworth - McClatchy Foreign Staff.
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RFA, Police Hold 21 After Waste Plant Protest in China's Guangdong, 15 Sept. 2014
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Other Documents

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Meta Information
ContributorEJOLT team at School of Geography and China Centre, University of Oxford
Last update10/11/2016