Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, has set up a working group to restore the environment in a park that has been used as a garbage dump by several government departments, the city's vice-mayor said.
According to Yin Zheqiang, the park will be restored within a week and the government departments involved will be punished.
Chen Xi, a resident of Huafu Imperial Garden, a residential community next to the park, said he must close all his windows to keep out the awful stink from the 70,000 metric tons of garbage.
"Some buildings are just 10 meters from the park, which used to have fresh air and green water," Chen said. "Now it's covered by smelly garbage, and the lake water has turned black.
"The drivers that the local governmental departments sent to remove the garbage wore gas masks during work, but we can't wear masks at home 24/7."
According to Chen, trucks have been dumping garbage in the park since November, and he was shocked to notice from characters printed on the vehicles that they came mainly from three government departments.
The environmental sanitation bureau of nearby Songzhuang township and the economic development zone and gardening bureau of Ganyu district have all admitted to dumping garbage at the site.
To protect the park, people living in the community donated money to drain the black water from the lake and guard the park gate to prevent the trucks from dumping more.
"We asked women to guard the park during the day and men to serve night duty," said a resident surnamed Liu. "Whether it rained or snowed, we had people there to protect the park from being further polluted."
"I can't explain how painful it has been for my family the last six months," Liu said. "Summer is coming and the problem must be solved immediately. Those who are responsible must be punished severely."
Zhuang Chuanbin, an official with the district's environmental sanitation bureau, said only one company is allowed to burn garbage in the city, and it stopped receiving trash in September.
"The company has been improving its equipment and technique to lower emissions," he said. "During the process, the amount of garbage it accepts was reduced by more than 400 metric tons a day."
Jiang Wei, an engineer in the city's urban management bureau, said two well-equipped landfill facilities had been built in the district in 2016 and in theory could treat all the district's garbage for years.
"The facilities met all the demands of the environmental bureau, but the Ganyu district government refused to approve inspections," Jiang said.
He said the local government refused to inspect the landfill facilities for fear that the buried garbage might pollute the nearby environment and cause local protests.