From the sewers to riches!

stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 10, 2004
2,702
2
Link
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's capital is testing a new kind of manhole cover to put a lid on rampant theft, Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.
Missing manhole covers are a hazardous fact of life on the sidewalks and roads of Beijing where they are stolen to be sold as scrap for a couple of dollars each.

"The new manhole covers will be made of non-metal materials with no recycling value," Wang Xin, spokesman for the city's utilities management department, was quoted as saying.

Beijing has more than 600,000 manhole covers across the city owned by 18 companies. "Approximately 240,000 manhole and street- drain covers were stolen in Beijing in 2004," Xinhua said.
Ah, ingenuity!
 

miloblithe

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,072
28
Washington, DC
That reminds me of a joke.

An American man travels to Russia. He flies into the Sheremetova airport and is excited to be traveling to Russia for the first time. As the plane lands he looks out at the landing lights and knows he's finally arrived. After he leaves the airport, he's walking down the street and falls through a manhole cover and breaks his leg. After he's pulled out of the sewer, he starts yelling at all the Russians gathered around. "In America this would never happen. If there's an open manhole it would be taped off and flashing red lights would warn you about it." An old Russian woman looked at him and said, "young man, didn't you see the flashing red lights when you arrived at the airport?"

Well. Not a very funny joke. I'll admit.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
0
Doesn't really sound like an activity that would make a person rich. Just another way for a guy to make a living. Now they will have to find their scrape metal somewhere else.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
wdlove said:
Now they will have to find their scrape metal somewhere else.
True - you won't fall into holes in the street, but you won't know where you are because all the street signs will be missing. ;)
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Obviously, it's only a band-aid solution to the rampant levels of poverty in the country. People will find other means to obtain metals. It's like the problem of drug usage in downtown Vancouver. Granville street and Hastings Street is the hub for drug use and prostitution. By-laws in the area only moves the problem to another area, but doesn't solve the problem.
 

aplasticspork

macrumors regular
May 27, 2004
199
0
Seattle Wa.
jsw said:
True - you won't fall into holes in the street, but you won't know where you are because all the street signs will be missing. ;)
thats exactly what happened in zimbabwe. people took almost every single street sign in harare. giving people directions was interesting :rolleyes:. fortunately they replaced all the street signs recently and they seem to be staying...so far ;)
--andrzej
 

Cybernanga

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2004
201
0
Essex, United Kingdom
aplasticspork said:
thats exactly what happened in zimbabwe. people took almost every single street sign in harare. giving people directions was interesting :rolleyes:. fortunately they replaced all the street signs recently and they seem to be staying...so far ;)
--andrzej
A lot of them went missing again, so many local councils painted the streetnames on the walls at intersections.

In my neighbourhood, an enterprising young man collected donations from every house and painted the streetnames on the actual tarmac. It actually helped as giving people directions to your house is kinda difficult when you know you can't refer to streets by name.
 

iGary

Guest
May 26, 2004
19,583
2
Randy's House
Communism rules! :D

We had "exploding" manhole covers in Washington (Georgetown area) a few summers ago when Pepco's entire 100-year-old electrical system starting catching fire underground.

Pretty fantastic see a 200-pount metal disc go flying 50 feet into the air. :eek:
 

Chappers

macrumors 68020
Aug 12, 2003
2,247
1
At home
iGary said:
Communism rules! :D

We had "exploding" manhole covers in Washington (Georgetown area) a few summers ago when Pepco's entire 100-year-old electrical system starting catching fire underground.

Pretty fantastic see a 200-pount metal disc go flying 50 feet into the air. :eek:
Unless you have a pacemaker.
 

homerjward

macrumors 68030
May 11, 2004
2,745
0
fig tree
iGary said:
Communism rules! :D

We had "exploding" manhole covers in Washington (Georgetown area) a few summers ago when Pepco's entire 100-year-old electrical system starting catching fire underground.

Pretty fantastic see a 200-pount metal disc go flying 50 feet into the air. :eek:
wow! that must have been scary! btw do you like change your 'tar daily? lol :p
 

KingSleaze

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2004
410
0
So. Cal
sushi said:
Sort of reminds me of the Koreans and how they used get the brass for bed frames, candle holders, mugs, etc.

Sushi
Or the number of people that make it into the Darwin Awards for attempting to salvage energized copper wiring.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
well lets just hope that something is done about the poverty level too

but i doubt that will be going away any time soon
 

noel4r

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
661
0
Los Angeles
They used to do that in the Philippines too. The scary thing is when the streets are flooded, you have to walk very carefully so you don’t fall into one of those manholes. A friend of mine did that, one second we’re walking together and the next he just disappeared, when he came out he’s all black from the flood and the mud. Too funny.
 
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