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Gu Leixiang: Environment protector of Zhangjiagang



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Gu Leixiang (third from left) discusses environmental protection with workers. [Photo/WeChat account: zjgcitynews]

72-year old Gu Leixiang is a retired cadre at the ecology and environment bureau of Zhangjiagang, a county-level city in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province.

During his 12 years of retirement, his hobby has been riding his bike around the city in search of environmental issues in need of fixing.

Gu started his career in environmental protection in 1982 when he joined the newly-established environmental protection bureau of Shazhou county.

At the time, local companies had no awareness of environmental protection. The city was also short on much-needed technology and facilities, Gu recalled.

That same year, a 760-square-meter monitoring station began operating, and Gu completed the first monthly report on local water quality and the first investigative report on air pollution in Yangshe town.

Gu also played an essential role in the construction of the city's first sewage treatment plant between 1992 and 1994. The plant is still operating to this day.

Though retired since 2007, he has never left his work behind. Gu often visits local companies to learn about their pollution control efforts and offers advice if needed.

Gu once stumbled upon some sewage leaking into Jiyang Lake. He immediately began researching the issue and made several proposals to the government, all of which were adopted.

Over the past few decades, his work has been recorded in detail and the countless resources he has made use of have been preserved. In 2018, Gu donated all his work notes and documents to the city's archive.

"Environmental protection work has no end. I'll keep doing this as long as I'm in good health," said Gu.

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