In urban areas, where urbanization and growing consumption habits translate into an increasing volume of trash, China's giant trash heap is growing at 8-10% annually. Cities are under great pressure to stem the rising tide of rubbish. Meanwhile, the central government has shown strong support for incineration, setting a target for 30% of China’s municipal solid waste to be burnt by 2030. As such, deployment of waste-to-energy technologies are on the rise in China.

In only ten years' time, China has gone from having no waste-to-energy facilities to having over 150. By the time the 12th Five-Year Plan runs its course in 2015, China is expected 300 plants in operation. Burning trash appears to be a win-win solution for China: the process reduces growing volumes of garbage while producing much-needed energy. Chinese NGO and U.S. research speakers at this meeting will discuss some of the waste-to-energy benefits as well as pollution, data, and governance challenges.