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Record amount of waste dumped in China's Yangtze River

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 14, 2007
A record 30.5 billion tonnes of industrial, farming and human waste were dumped last year into China's Yangtze River, the country's longest, state media reported.

The quantity was twice as much as two decades ago and an increase of 900 million tonnes, or 3.1 percent, from the previous year, Xinhua news agency said late Tuesday.

The widespread dumping of industrial, agricultural and domestic waste has seriously polluted the Yangtze, a situation some ecologists warn will be worsened by the massive Three Gorges dam, which they say will create a "giant toilet bowl" of trapped sewage behind it.

The Asian Development Bank last month warned that water pollution in China, driven by rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, had reached "alarming" levels.

Xinhua, quoting a study by the Yangtze River Water Resources Commission, said 2006 was the first year sewage dumping had increased by less than five percent.

A joint Swiss-Chinese report said earlier this month that Yangtze pollution was "enormous" but added the ecological damage could be reversed if the government took aggressive steps.

Numerous unique species have been driven to the brink of extinction in the river, including the white-fin dolphin and Yangtze river sturgeon.

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Britain the 'dustbin of Europe': official
London (AFP) Nov 12, 2007
Britain has become the "dustbin of Europe" as Britons throw more rubbish into landfill sites than any other country in the European Union, new figures showed Monday.

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