PEKING — People slaking their thirst by eating melons in Peking's summer heat are creating a giant garbage problem for sanitation authorities.
A bumper melon crop has pushed down prices by almost 75%--to about 8 cents a pound--and melon street stalls are doing record business as a result, the China Daily newspaper said.
More than 250,000 tons of fresh melons were expected to pour into the capital's markets this year, compared with a crop of 165,000 tons last year, the newspaper said.
"The melon rinds, which rot fast under the summer heat, can cause serious problems to the city's sanitation and environment--especially in rainy weather--if they are not cleared away immediately," an official of the sanitation bureau said.
The official said the city had taken the unusual step of renting seven temporary dumping yards from townships outside the city to deal with the melon garbage problem.