Tue, Mar 26, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Taipei steps up its recycling efforts

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Director of the Taipei environmental protection bureau, Stephen Shen, right, checks a gas station in Taipei yesterday to see if recycling is being done properly.

PHOTO: CHU PEI-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

A program that requires companies to make recycling facilities available to consumers will be expanded to cover nine types of businesses, Taipei City government officials said yesterday.

The program, which was kicked off in 1998, requires businesses such as convenience stores to serve as collection points for items such as spent batteries and empty bottles.

Until now, retail stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and cosmetic shops were the only types of businesses required to participate in the program.

Taipei officials yesterday said the program would be expanded to cover convenience stores located in public transportation stations such as MRT stations, gas stations, soft drink retailers located near gas stations, wireless equipment vendors and camera retailers.

"By requiring these businesses to provide such services starting this week, it will allow the public a more convenient way to recycle," said Chen Hsiu-ming (陳秀明), section chief at the city's Bureau of Environmental Protection.

Businesses have until the end of June to comply with the new rules. Chen said stores failing to make services available could face a fine of up to NT$300,000.

The recycling program is part of rules adopted by the Cabinet-level Environmental Protection Administration. The city government is responsible for enforcing the rules.

"These stores are required to implement a recycling policy through ways such as placing recycling bins in their shops and posting announcements to inform the public of the availability of recycling bins," Chen said.

The environmental official said recycling bins would be used to collect items such as spent batteries, empty containers, plastics, cans and old newspapers.

Chen said the recycling policy is the result of public demand, saying thrice-weekly visits by sanitation workers to collect recyclables weren't enough.

"So, aside from having these regular visits, we now have these nine types of business to share the responsibility for recycling by providing another option to the public," he said.

Chen said that the nine types of business were chosen because they are frequented by consumers more than other shops.

"These stores are well distributed throughout every neighborhood and people come into contact with them often in their daily lives," he said.

"They provide a convenient location for the public to take their recyclables."

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