Disposing of all leftovers on a plate in the same bin became impossible at certain fast-food restaurants, where trash bins have been separated into different categories in accordance with a new environmental policy on waste recycling that came into force yesterday.
Yesterday morning, Chang Juu-en (張祖恩), head of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), inspected three fast-food restaurants in Hsimenting.
Since yesterday, the compulsory recycling program has been applied to about 600 fast-food restaurants belonging to seven major chains nationwide. Instead of the usual one overflowing trash can, consumers are encouraged to dispose of their waste in four different bins. Leftovers are separated into four categories: leftovers, recyclable materials, regular waste and liquid waste.
Mixing waste from different categories will result in the restaurant being fined between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000.
"Garbage should be regarded as reusable resources which were in the wrong places," Chang said.
A trial program was carried out on July 1 last year at fast-food restaurants. The latest research shows that such restaurants produce about 1,450 tonnes of waste monthly. Reusable materials account for 15 percent of the waste, while food leftovers account for 5 percent.
The EPA estimates that each restaurant can make an average yearly profit of NT$100,000 by selling reusable materials every month. In addition, due to significant waste reduction, monthly waste-handling costs can be reduced to NT$600,000 from NT$800,000.
* Monday and Friday: waste paper, used clothes, clean plastic bags, kitchen waste
* Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: Styrofoam wares; bottles and containers of all materials, including steel sheeting, aluminum, plastic, glass, paper beverage containers, aluminum foil packs, paper meal boxes, plastic meal boxes; other large household appliances and recyclable goods; batteries; small appliances; tubes, bulbs and kitchen waste
* General trash and kitchen waste are collected every day during the week except on Wednesday and Sunday.
* To dispose of large household appliances and recyclable goods, contact the Recycling Management Fund of the Environmental Protection Administration at 0800-085-717 to make an appointment to remove the garbage.