China is planning to pay livestock farmers to convert their animals’ waste into fuel and fertilizer, as a way to reduce the release of dangerous pollution into the country’s lakes and rivers.
“The aim is for these animal waste processing facilities to either treat manure so that it’s safe for disposal or to make fertilizers from it,” CleanTechnica reports, citing the Ministry of Agriculture, “as well as to install biogas plants to make use of captured methane for electricity or heat generation.”
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The country plans to introduce recycling programs in 200 out of 586 major counties by 2020, according to Reuters.
“Biogas technology, which can help save on electrical costs, is too expensive for many farmers unless the government helps,” the news agency notes. But “in China, how to better dispose of animal waste has become a particular problem due to the fast growth of poultry and hog farming over the past decade to meet demand for higher quality meat.”
The agriculture ministry says the industry generates four billion tonnes of waste per year.