The Chinese city of Wuhan has restored more than 50 hectares of land from a closed landfill in less than a year, improving the living environment for residents and solving pollution challenges.

The closed Jinkou landfill in Wuhan caused pollution, which natural degradation would have taken decades to remove, affecting not only the environment but also more than 100,000 residents in nearby areas. To restore this wasteland more efficiently, the city began an aerobic ecological restoration project. Not only does it alleviate risks of long-term safety issues from pollutants and eliminate the threat of methane explosions, this project also restores more than 50 hectares of land for city landscaping. Proving that even the most polluted areas can become ecological havens, this former landfill site will host the International Garden Expo in 2015.

66 tons of CO2 absorbed per year by restored land.

Cities100 – 2015

The restoration process, which began in 2014, introduced proper planting techniques, diverse plants, and measures to improve the soil aiming to promote continuity of the fundamental ecological system. The project ties in with Wuhan’s General Urban Planning scheme to improve the quality of the city’s ecological environment and enhance sustainable urban development, and eventually become a National Garden City, which is a title the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development grants to Chinese cities focusing on green, sustainable cities.

The challenge

Natural degradation of pollutants from the Jinkou landfill would have taken at least 30 years, and restoration through excavation measures is very costly. To solve the issue, Wuhan restored the landfill and surrounding environment using aerobic ecological restoration, thereby ensuring that the land is re-utilized for enjoyable purposes.


Economic The project saved $125 million by using aerobic ecological restoration compared to conventional restoration methods.

Health Restoring the landfill site ensures reduced air pollution for more than 100,000 people living in close proximity to the landfill.

Social The new ecological park improves the quality of life for the citizens of Wuhan and promotes economic and social development in the surrounding areas.

About Wuhan

Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, China, and is the most populous city in Central China. It is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and expressways passing through the city and connecting to other major cities. Because of its key role in domestic transportation, Wuhan was sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of China” by foreign sources.