Locals mobilized to clean up city’s dirty image 洗髒亂惡名 麥寮種樹掃街

Sat, Nov 30, 2013 - Page 11

Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) and local residents in Yunlin County’s Mailiao Township have teamed up to clear the town’s notorious image as the dirtiest town in Taiwan. Last week 230 volunteers were mobilized to plant 1,400 trees and clean up the streets. Mailiao is definitely not the dirtiest town in Taiwan, villagers say.

The Conservation Mothers Foundation, which evaluates environments in towns across the nation, has given Mailiao the worst of appraisals — “a town in dire need of improvement” — two years in a row, which is hard for locals to swallow. Last week local residents enthusiastically took part in the event “Protecting Trees, Loving Home,” wrapping straw around trees to keep them warm and collecting litter from the streets.

Chen Wen-yang, assistant general manager of FPG’s administration department in Mailiao, says that the amount of trash they could clean up in two hours was quite limited. He hopes that it will lead to more improvements in the future and encourage local residents to participate in similar community cleanup projects, as well as train them not to litter and take an interest in protecting their living environment. It would help create clean and beautiful living environments if every village took the initiative in eradicating squalid surroundings.

Mailiao resident Hsu Chung-fu says that his town is a clean and beautiful farming village, adding that local villagers have been enthusiastic in recent years about cleaning up their living environments by working to beautify and add more greenery to the community. Last week more than 100 local villagers helped with sanitation work.

Employees from FPG’s sixth naphtha cracker brought their families to take part in the event, watching their children help move rocks bigger than their hands and carrying straw taller than them, turning the kids into little environmentalist soldiers, who helped protect the trees and inspired the adults to work harder. This spirit of caring for the town and land in which one lives will hopefully be passed on from generation to generation.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)