Solar Energy Firms Leave Waste Behind in China
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, March 9, 2008; Page A01
GAOLONG, China — The first time Li Gengxuan saw the dump trucks from the nearby factory pull into his village, he couldn’t believe what happened. Stopping between the cornfields and the primary school playground, the workers dumped buckets of bubbling white liquid onto the ground. Then they turned around and drove right back through the gates of their compound without a word.
This ritual has been going on almost every day for nine months, Li and other villagers said.
Luoyang Zhonggui High-Technology Co., here in the central plains of Henan Province near the Yellow River, stands out for one reason: It’s a green energy company, producing polysilicon destined for solar energy panels sold around the world. But the byproduct of polysilicon production — silicon tetrachloride — is a highly toxic substance that poses environmental hazards.