Page last updated at 09:34 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 10:34 UK

Deodorant used to sweeten foul smells at Beijing dumps

Deodorants stop the rot at China dump

Beijing is taking aim at its smelly rubbish tips - by using water cannons to fire smell-busting liquid on its worst-offending landfill sites.

The arrival of warmer weather in the Chinese capital has caused more garbage to rot, leading to a nasty stench in various parts of the city.

In one suburb, workers have filled 100 high-pressure hoses with the liquid deodorant to try to kill the smells.

But the tactic appears to be having mixed results.

Some local residents say the smell is still so bad they are waking up coughing in the night.

"Whenever the bad smell comes we are all coughing," Geng Haiou told Reuters news agency. "Even when you are soundly sleeping, you can wake up coughing. Everyone opens their windows in the summer and there is the smell."

The BBC's Quentin Sommerville says Beijing, like the rest of China, is experiencing a building boom so land is at a premium and homes are never far from waste tips, sewage plants - and smells.

The deodorant cannons are the brainchild of the Gao'antun Garbage Landfill Plant. After a dousing from the spray - which is made from plant extracts - the rubbish is then covered with odour-eating sheets.

A machine has also been brought in to extract the gases from the rubbish and use them to generate electricity.

"By employing these measures, and at the same time we have other measures we carry out to control the bad smell, we reduce the pollution at this landfill to the lowest level," Zhang Quanhong of the Gao'antun Landfill told Reuters.

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