Dealing with industrial solid waste can’t wait until it’s hard to return

“Who develops, who protects, who pollutes, who governs.”. To improve the comprehensive utilization rate of industrial solid waste and make the circular economy circulate is the problem we must deal with now. To protect the green water and green mountains and the ecological environment, we should take a long-term view, prepare for a rainy day, and be able to make a big account.

According to the 《economic information daily 》on June 29, the chemical branch of Zhongtian Hechuang Energy Co., Ltd. in Wushen Banner, Inner Mongolia, China’s largest coal chemical integration project has been built. Only 10% of the ash produced can be used, and the remaining industrial solid waste can only be filled in situ. With the rapid development of China’s coal, electric power, chemical industry and other industries, the annual production of industrial solid waste is more than 3.3 billion tons, and the cumulative stock is more than 60 billion tons, and the number is still accelerating. However, the comprehensive utilization of industrial solid waste is insufficient, and a large amount of landfill has brought great pressure on resources and environment.

Industrial solid waste is divided into general industrial waste and hazardous solid waste. Generally, the former is the most common industrial solid waste, including blast furnace slag, red mud, non-ferrous metal slag, fly ash, sulfuric acid slag, salt mud, etc.

Industrial solid waste not only takes up a lot of land, but also contains water-soluble substances, which pollute soil and water by leaching. Some wastes even clog rivers, pollute water systems, affect biological growth and endanger human health. The land polluted by industrial solid waste is expensive to repair. Taking the first soil remediation project in Zhejiang Province in 2018 as an example, the land was once the largest base of waste metal recycling industry in China, and the treatment cost was as high as 500000 yuan per mu.

In addition, industrial solid waste is a test and challenge for China’s industrial development, especially for the strategic projects in the field of energy and ensuring national energy security. To some extent, industrial solid waste is a huge development bottleneck for an industry.

At present, China’s industrial solid waste production is high and the stock is large, but the comprehensive utilization rate is not satisfactory.In 2017, according to the general industrial solid waste comprehensive utilization rate of 54.6%, this has to do with the State Council about print and distribute “much starker choices-and graver consequences-in” notice of the planning of ecological environment protection required, by 2020 the national industrial solid waste comprehensive utilization ratio to 73%, difference is bigger, “a lot of ash can only local landfill” has become a lot of places to dispose of industrial solid waste.

The main reasons for the low comprehensive utilization rate of industrial solid waste are as follows: firstly, there is little market demand and insufficient technology research and development capacity, especially in economically underdeveloped areas, the capacity and technology to deal with industrial solid waste are relatively weak, and the upstream and downstream industrial chains are not fully dredged; secondly, the relevant fiscal and taxation policies, technological standards, and product catalogues are not perfect, which is not conducive to mobilizing the enthusiasm of enterprises. For example, the proportion of solid waste raw materials in a product produced by an enterprise in Shanxi is as high as 90%, but it is not in the scope of the national catalogue of products for comprehensive utilization of industrial solid waste resources, so it is difficult to enjoy preferential policies such as taxation.

Generally speaking, most of the events that affect and change the process of environmental protection enter the public field of vision, become a public topic, and lead to a series of iron fisted governance. For example, “haze lock city” and “garbage besieged city” once became hot words on the Internet, so “ten articles on atmosphere” were promulgated one after another. At present, the public does not pay much attention to industrial solid waste, but 60 billion tons is shocking enough – China’s 1.4 billion population, which is nearly 43 tons per head, is a terrible number.

“The one who develops and protects, the one who pollutes, the one who retreats.”Improving the comprehensive utilization rate of industrial solid waste and making the circular economy circulate is the problem that we must deal with at present.For example, we should strengthen the linkage between production, education and research, and support the transformation and utilization of scientific research achievements in multiple dimensions. Developed regions and enterprises with advanced experience should actively contribute wisdom and samples; Government departments in the relevant tax incentives to be in place, and so on.

It is worth expecting that the revised Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution caused by solid waste will take effect on September 1 this year. The law clearly requires that the comprehensive utilization of solid waste should be further enhanced, and institutional guarantees for industrial policies, industrial technologies, supervision and management, legal liability and other aspects should be further improved.Dongguan in Guangdong and Ningbo in Zhejiang have also followed up, or solicited public opinions on the prevention and control plan of industrial solid waste pollution, or renovated industrial solid waste to build a “waste-free city”.

To control industrial solid waste, we should not wait until we have accumulated difficulties and paid a huge price before making up for them.To protect clean water and green mountains and the ecological environment, we should take a long-term view, prepare for a rainy day, and calculate big accounts.