More than 1,000 ecological workers were organized for trash cleanup along a 200-kilometer section of the Qinghai-Tibet Highway in Qinghai province on Monday, as reports of extensive litter along the highway captured people's attention on social media.
The Economic Observer newspaper reported on Sunday that there was a waste belt along the highway's Wudaoliang section. At 200 meters long and 20 meters wide, the belt was described as a significant threat to the fragile plateau ecology.
The waste belt is in Chumarleb and Drido counties of Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Qinghai, which is part of the Hol Xil Nature Reserve.
The prefectural and county governments responded quickly to the problem, as 21 trucks, two loaders and four excavators were scrambled by the Chumarleb county early on Monday to collect the waste. The collected litter was hauled to a landfill 153 km away.
More than 1,000 ecological workers were dispatched by the counties of Chumarleb and Drido to clean up a 200-km section of highway on Monday.
So far, more than 600 metric tons of waste has been transported for treatment. All cleanup work is expected to be done by Wednesday.
According to the local governments, waste disposal is a headache in the area because it's more than 400 km from the nearest two counties. A large amount of waste was tossed by hotels and passing tourists along the highway.
Collected waste includes paint buckets, cans, plastics, rags, sheep and yak corpses and many other discarded objects.
The Yushu prefectural government said it will set up a long-term mechanism to deal with litter along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway, as well as in the nature reserve generally.