When the 2008 Olympic Games open in Beijing, some athletes will have to go to Qingdao, a beautiful coastal city in east China's Shandong Province to compete for medals in windsurfing. In order to add more Olympic glory to its seaside charm, the city has already put aside money in a special budget aimed at creating a cleaner environment.
Eight hundred and seventy kilometers to the southeast of Beijing is one of China's most well#-known seaside resorts, Qingdao. The city is a major training base for China's windsurfing team. Qingdao's city government has decided to upgrade its facilities and embrace the Olympic Games with a brand new look. The most daring part of their plan is to minimize air pollution. The first step is placing the future windsurfing competition venue well away from the polluted particles emitted by a nearby power plant.
Only 7 kilometers from the venue, the plant produces hundreds of thousands of tons of burnt coal ash every year. Already 40 million yuan, or some 3.5 million US dollars, have been invested to set up a special line in this plant to turn its coal ashes into concrete or other construction materials. The plant also plans to transport its ashes to remote landfill, rather than leave them exposed. Furthermore, grass and flower beds will soon encircle around the plant.
"The 10 major Olympic projects of our city are all associated with environmental protection. Through water treatment and waste recycling, we feel confident of presenting a more pleasant city to the world in 2008," said Song Chunkang, deputy director of Environment Protection Administration of Qingdao.
Meanwhile, everyday wastes created by people living in the city itself will be better disposed of. The comprehensive plan, involving a reduction of air, water and soil pollution, will cost 200 million US dollars every year, nearly 3 percent of the city's annual GDP.
(People's Daily June 16, 2003)