After Beijing was assured of the 2008 Olympics, the city built subway lines and purchased battery-powered trash haulers and electric-powered buses to further limit air pollution. Pollution from industry was also addressed. Coal-burning facilities were closed and air scrubbers were installed in power plants. Natural air scrubbers in the form of trees -- millions of them -- were planted to aid in removing carbon dioxide from the air.
All of these measures caused the air quality in Beijing to improve 20 percent in a twelve-month period ending in July 2008 [source: New York Times]. Unfortunately, the areas surrounding Beijing were still introducing large amounts of pollutants into the air, which continued to contribute to Beijing's poor air quality.
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