Not many years ago, people in Taiwan hardly thought twice about their garbage, reports China Post.

From the smallest village to the capital Taipei, huge piles of garbage could be seen on streets and sidewalks, complete with flies, mosquitoes, rats and stray animals picking at leaking plastic bags.

Since then, local governments around the country have successfully implemented “no-touch,” policies under which garbage can only be tossed out at certain times of the day and may never actually touch the ground.

In addition, most localities around the country have implemented a policy of requiring residents to directly toss their trash into garbage trucks as they pass through various neighborhoods once a day, usually in the early evening.

On certain days of the week, recycling vehicles travel behind the garbage trucks to collect cans, plastic bottles and a wide variety of other items that are not permitted to be tossed out with ordinary garbage.

At the same time, the government has banned the commmon use of free plastic bags by retailers, requiring citizens to either pay a special fee for a reusable bag, or bring their own reusable shopping bags whenever they buy things.

These policies have greatly reduced the amount of trash generated in Taiwan, relieving the burden on a limited number of dumping and incineration facilities. Authorities here should be congratulated for coming up with these innovative and practical ideas.

In recent years, some local governments have even begun experimenting with recycling kitchen waste, which can be used to feed livestock or to make agricultural compost.

According to the Cabinet‘‘s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), some 1,800 tons of kitchen waste is already being recycled per day in various cities and counties around the country.

In another pilot program, currently being implemented in Chiayi County, used cooking oil is being recovered. In the space of a few short years, Taiwan has gone from being an environmental disgrace to one of the world‘‘s leading recycling economies.

For this, the EPA should be congratulated and encouraged. However, there are still some problems with the implementation of recycling policies that authorities seem to completely ignore. If recycling and clean garbage removal is to be truly successful, authorities need to pay more attention to these problems so that everyone can take part in the recycling effort. For one thing, many people are not at home at the regular time that garbage and recycling trucks pass by for daily pickup.

Those who live in apartment complexes and have a management committee may be lucky enough to have someone take the trash and recyclables out for them. But those people who live in individual households are forced to save up large amounts of stinking trash until they have the time or ability to catch up with a daily truck.

Another problem is the lack of public facilities where recyclables can be taken to and dumped at the public‘‘s convenience. If every neighborhood could have a designated receptacle location for collecting recyclable items, especially hard-to-handle things such as kitchen waste and cooking oil, working people would be able to properly dispose of their waste on their own time while still fully participating in the recycling effort. The problem with setting up public facilities for collecting garbage is a serious lack of space where items can be collected and stored until trucks pass through to pick them up. If a public park or car parking lot were designated for the collection of recyclable trash, we would see such facilities overwhelmed with disgusting, stinking trash, leaving even less space for the people to enjoy.

In many other developed countries, there is generally plenty of space where such facilities can be built and maintained. However, we are sure that the<

Ano da Publicação:
WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #34-2007-August 24, 2007
Kit Strange/Warmer Bulletin
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