Friday, November 13, 2009

Dump and Run: Oops, I spilled a few tons of muck on the road

I'm intrigued by the "Dump and Run" phenomenon on Chinese roads. Someone with a truck piled high with rubble, dirt, smashed up drywall, spintery plywood or a combination of all four, plus some more stuff, sets off on a midnight run to the landfill but decides to pocket the tipping fees and just dump the stuff on the road under the cover of darkness. It just typifies the popular attitude in China (and..ahem...on Wall Street): Screw everyone else! I'm making some extra cash while nobody's looking! This is how melamine ends up in baby formula and lead paint on toys.

Yesterday, the Southern Metropolis Daily, one of the region's most popular newspapers, had a story about how a few tons of dirt - mud, actually - ended up on a Guangzhou street in the middle of the night on Wednesday. The mud covered a one-kilometer stretch of the road, and it took a crew four hours to clean it up.

One of my nightmares is that I'm hammering down a road at 40 kph in the early morning darkness and suddenly I plough into a mud slide like this and do an endo into the muck.

A few weeks ago, I saw a spectacular D&R on a side road in a Guangzhou industrial park near the Pearl River Brewery. This one was mostly made up of chunks of pulverized concrete and took up about two city blocks. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me.

I've posted the below photo (credit: Simon Sandral) on this blog before, but I'm reposting it because this D&R was so brazen. Done on a highway! The amazing thing is that I've never seen these trash piles cause an accident.

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