China Environment

Urban Waste Revolution: Turning China’s Sludge and Garbage Mountains into Low-Carbon Solutions

China has a sludge problem. A big one. Wastewater plants in Chinese cities produce a staggering 40 million tons of this semi-solid slurry each year, enough to fill all of Manhattan with a 19-inch deep sludge lake. However, only one-fifth of China’s sludge is properly treated, while the rest is sent to landfills, incinerators, or illegally dumped. Similarly unsustainable methods are used to dispose of the mountains of solid waste generated by China’s urbanites.

China’s Pollution From U.S. Exports: Takes Two to Tango

Forty-plus years as the world’s factory, China’s manufacturing sector has fueled its economy and growing wealth, at a heavy environmental cost. The combination of weak pollution regulations in China and demand for cheap goods from western companies and consumers has left Chinese citizens in an increasingly polluted environment. Nature magazine reported in 2017 that more than 100,000 people in China die every year as a result of noxious emissions caused by manufacturing products for export.

The World in a Grain: Story of the Most Important and Overlooked Commodity in the World

After water and air, sand is the natural resource that we consume more than any other. Every concrete building and paved road on earth, every window, computer screen and silicon chip, is made from sand. From Egypt's pyramids to the Hubble telescope, from the world's tallest skyscraper to the sidewalk below it, from Chartres' stained-glass windows to your iPhone, sand shelters us, empowers us, and inspires us. It’s the ingredient that makes possible our cities, our science, our lives--and our future.

And incredibly, we're running out of it.

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