The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday denied it was planning to charge people a weight-based trash disposal fee, adding that the proposal was still under discussion.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday reported that the EPA was considering a handling charge based on the weight of the garbage to be thrown away, whereby residents could pay the charge with their EasyCards, which are used to pay for travel on Taipei’s public transport system, parking fees or convenience store purchases.
Currently, the garbage disposal fee for residents of Taipei, New Taipei City (新北市) and Greater Taichung’s Shigang District (石岡) is covered by the cost of garbage bags they have to purchase. Garbage fees are included in the water rates in other parts of the country.
Environmental Protection Administration Minister Stephen Sheng (沈世宏) denied the newspaper report, saying the agency was simply weighing up the viability of such a proposal.
Sheng said there were a number of obstacles to implementing such a policy.
The EPA also issued a statement saying that Sheng had not mentioned a possible trial operation of the policy in Taipei and New Taipei City, nor did he say anything about how much such charges might be.
Starting in July 2000, Taipei residents had to purchase special bags for their non-recyclable garbage. The program was later expanded to the then-Taipei County and the Shigang District.
New Taipei City reduced the cost of its bags from NT$0.42 per liter to NT$0.40 per liter last year.
In March this year the Taipei City Government reduced the fee for the bags from NT$0.45 per liter to NT$0.36.
Additional reporting by staff writer