A Chinese environmental expert is calling for stricter monitoring of rubbish in response to some previous cases of illegal dumping in the Yangtze River that ran from August to December 2016, resulting in serious water pollution and great economic losses.
That discovery has led so far to the arrest of 34 suspects by authorities in East China's Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, who are accused of dumping 30,000 tons of garbage into the Yangtze River in 2016 at Nantong and Taicang, Jiangsu, and another 15,000 buried at Huzhou, Zhejiang and nearby Anhui Province, the Economic Information Daily reported on Monday.
The suspects were separately tried by Jiangsu and Zhejiang authorities.
The rubbish has been found to contain toxic substances, including volatile phenol, at levels many times higher than what is considered acceptable for human exposure.
It posed a threat to the safety of drinking water at sources in Taicang, Jiangsu, and forced the suspension of drinking water provision on December 19, 2016, for 48 and 55 hours at the two main drinking water sources, the Jiangsu Procuratorate reported.
The Jiangsu Procuratorate has arrested 9 people, and the Zhejiang Procuratorate has detained 25 suspects, according to the report, which also said that the companies involved in the case did not have a waste disposal license, and had falsified documents to collect disposal fees.
"Those who are convicted need to be seriously penalized to increase the costs of illegal rubbish dumping," Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, told the Global Times on Monday.
Ma is also calling for stricter registrations for tracking and recording garbage transfers from one organization to another, and stronger supervision in the waste business.