Thu, Dec 30, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Ilan `a model' for recycling initiative

TAKING OUT THE TRASH Environmental officials cited Ilan County as an example of how the new recycling regulations, to take effect soon, can be successful

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER , In Ilan

Ilan County is a model of environmental protection at the local level as a result of its determination to implement the Environmental Protection Administration's (EPA) new household waste initiative, officials said yesterday.

Beginning next month, household waste will be refused by garbage truck workers if it is not properly separated into three categories: recyclable, food leftovers and general waste.

Areas affected by the new waste program include Keelung City, Taipei City, Hsinchu City, Taichung City, Taichung County, Chiayi City, Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung County and Ilan County.

Beginning April 1 next year, violators of the new initiative will be fined between NT$1,200 and NT$6,000. However, in Ilan County and Tainan City, the fine will go into effect Saturday, as the trial period in those areas has already been completed.

EPA officials said the new policy mandating waste separation is designed to encourage residents to cut down the amount of household waste and promote recycling.

The new measures will be applied nationwide in 2006.

EPA chief administrator Chang Juu-en (張祖恩) yesterday visited Ilan County to promote the policy and encourage Ilan residents to cooperate. At a press conference, both Chang and Ilan County Commissioner Liu Shou-cheng (劉守成) wore vests marking them as environmental volunteers, vowing to be enthusiastic in protecting the environment.

"Protecting the environment is one of the ways to love Taiwan. Thus, residents in both Tainan City and Ilan County should be proud pioneers of environmental protection," Chang said.

Liu said the 470,000 residents of Ilan County produce only 2.35 million tonnes of household waste per day.

"To familiarize residents with the new waste separation measures, we conducted a trail period here, and will be happy to become one of the first places in Taiwan enact the new regulations," Liu said. Since July 1 last year, a similar trial has been conducted in Ilan's schools and public sector buildings. Since Jan. 1 this year, the trial has been carried out in 12 townships. Since Oct. 1 this year, random checks of garbage bags have been carried out. Some residents violating the rules were encouraged to take garbage home or separate it on the spot.

Tzou Tsann-yang (鄒燦陽), director of Ilan County's Environmental Protection Bureau said that household waste now is treated in one of eight township landfills -- a practice which is temporary.

"The operation of the county's only waste incinerator, which can treat up to 600 tonnes daily, is scheduled to be launched in February [next year]," Tzou said.

Chang said that promoting recycling will be a key task in waste management policy in administration's goal of creating a "zero-waste" society.

According to Chang, the national recycling rate of household waste stands at 19.6 percent. Up to 907 tonnes of food leftovers daily are used for animal feed in 254 townships in 25 jurisdictions.

EPA officials said yesterday that all material made of plastic, aluminum, glass and metal will have to be recycled. In other words, people must recycle a variety of household materials such as plastic bottles, paper, batteries, raincoats and compact discs.

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