Sun, Jul 13, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Nationwide trip to collect garbage kicks off in Taipei

CNA , TAIPEI

Volunteers kicked off an 89-day garbage-clearing journey on foot around Taiwan in the 228 Peace Memorial Park in downtown Taipei yesterday.

Lin Ming-teh (林明德), a 57-year-old environmental protection volunteer, has mobilized other volunteers to take part in the "Cherish Taiwan: An Environmental Protection Journey" activity.

The volunteers in Taipei will be joined by others in other cities and counties around Taiwan in a relay fashion, clearing garbage along the way in areas which are usually unattended to.

Lin Ta-hsiung (林達雄), deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Administration, saw Lin and representatives from the Lions Club, the Taipei Junior Chamber and Kiwanis International off at the park.

Lin Ming-teh, often called "Taiwan's Forrest Gump" for his tenacity after the character in the Oscar-winning film of the same name, has engaged in such a journey three times over the past five years, picking up garbage along the way in the hopes of helping Taiwan return to the state which earned it the name "beautiful island."

His first garbage-collecting walk lasted 25 days. The second time he traveled to 369 villages and townships over 183 days, and the third time he spent 59 days traveling alone.

Pointing out that Taiwan is "littered with garbage," Lin said it would take him 4,109 years to pick it all up by himself, adding that if all 23 million people in the country were to work together, it would only take 90 minutes.

Lin expressed the hope that every person in Taiwan will "take a little time out every week to gratefully give back to this great land."

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