Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) presided over a rally of municipal environmental workers and volunteers yesterday in preparation for the launch of the city's kitchen waste recycling program on Friday.
Addressing the rally of more than 1,000 street cleaners and volunteers, Ma said the kitchen leftover recycling program will be the city's "second garbage disposal revolution."
"The new measure will mark a step forward in achieving the city government's ambitious goal of recycling all garbage and leaving no landfills by 2010," he said.
Ma said that Taipei's first garbage revolution -- the pay-by-bag collection system launched in 2000 -- has been very successful, as the city's waste has since declined by 50 percent.
At the moment, Ma said, kitchen leftovers account for about 30 percent of total waste. With the launch of kitchen waste recycling, he said, the city's garbage will decrease further.
Besides kitchen leftover recycling, Ma said, the most effective way to reduce waste is to cut the source of garbage.
"We should cultivate the habit of ordering only exactly what we want to eat when we eat out. When we eat at home, we should only prepare exactly what we need, " he explained.
Taipei will be Taiwan's first city to recycle kitchen waste. The municipal Environmental Protection Bureau urged city residents to work in tune with the new recycling program and divide their kitchen waste into two categories -- namely cooked food scraps which can be used to feed hogs, and material that can be used as compost, such as vegetable leaves and fruit peels.
Cooked food scraps should be put into the special blue container installed on each garbage truck, while compost material should be thrown into the red container.
In the initial stage, the bureau will post environmental volunteers at garbage collection locations to instruct residents on how to divide their waste.
The bureau said it will launch a three-month publicity campaign on Friday to rally public support for the kitchen waste recycling program.
After Feb. 26, those who mix their kitchen leftovers with regular garbage will be fined between NT$1,200 and NT$6,000.
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