For the five-month period after the compulsory garbage classification program was implemented Jan. 1 in 10 cities and counties, the total amount of recyclable kitchen leftovers collected was 77 percent more than the same period last year, according to Environmental Protection Administration statistics.
Keelung, Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung, Taichung County, Chiayi County, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung County, and Ilan County adopted the first-stage of the garbage classification program in which residents are required to sort their trash into ordinary garbage, recyclable garbage and food scraps, or kitchen leftovers, before throwing it away.
The administration's tallies show that in the period from January to May, the total amount of recyclable garbage collected was up 77,295 tonnes, or 34 percent, over the same period last year in the cities and counties where the policy was adopted. Meanwhile, the amount of recyclable kitchen leftovers collected was 7,172 tonnes more than a year-earlier level.
In terms of garbage reduction, Ilan County registered the largest reduction at 20 percent, followed by Taichung County at 17 percent and Kaohsiung at 14 percent.
In terms of the amount of recyclable garbage collected, the increase was greatest in Chiayi at 120 percent, followed by Hsinchu at 83 percent and Tainan at 65 percent.
As for kitchen leftovers, Kaohsiung City led the other nine cities and counties as the amount collected in there was up an amazing 66-fold over the levels a year ago. Hsinchu came second, with a three-fold increase, followed by Kaohsiung County with a 1.4-fold increase.
In general, people support the garbage classification policy, the administration said. Administration checks have found that 90 percent of residents in the areas where the policy has been implemented have been cooperating with the program.
The second-stage of the compulsory garbage sorting program will begin on Jan. 1 next year in all 25 cities and counties around the country. When it comes into effect, violators will face fines of between NT$1,200 and NT$6,000, the administration said.