Wed, Nov 27, 2019 - Page 14 News List

‘Smart’ recycling stations in Hsinchu a smashing success
竹市無人回收站 三個月收瓶罐逾三十萬支

Workers line up collected plastic and glass bottles at a 24-hour unmanned recycling station in Hsinchu City on Thursday last week.

Photo: Hung Mei-hsiu, Liberty Times

In line with Hsinchu City government’s goal to become a “smart” city, since July the city’s Bureau of Environmental Protection has provided 24-hour unmanned recycling stations for public use. The bureau has installed a total of 11 machines at seven recycling stations and, in the short space of three months, the machines have recycled over 30,000 bottles and cans. The recycling centers have been used by 4,200 people to process 25,000kg of recyclable waste, mainly consisting of plastic bottles, steel and aluminum cans and glass bottles. Users are able to collect reward points while recycling household waste at a time of their choosing. The process of dropping bottles and cans into the machine makes a satisfying “clunk,” turning a mundane chore into an enjoyable experience.

According to the bureau, users interact with the recycling machines through several mobile phone apps that allow them to collect reward points: an example of the “circular economy” in action. The bureau plans to operate the machines until Aug. 31 next year. Every month there are special public holiday-themed campaigns that allow users to redeem physical items in exchange for depositing recycled waste. On Singles’ Day, celebrated on Nov. 11, the bureau held a campaign in which users could exchange recycled items for environmentally friendly reusable shopping bags. The campaign, entitled “1111 bachelor take me away,” was a pun on the word “take,” a homonym for “bag” in Chinese. This particular campaign runs through to the end of this month.

There are two types of recycling machine: one takes plastic bottles and steel and aluminum cans, while the other type only takes glass bottles. Reward points can be exchanged for gifts such as glassware, gift coupons, food at local eateries and also “virtual points.” More information can be found at the Facebook page: (

(Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times)



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