Sun, Apr 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

City burns ghost money for cleaner air

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei Department of Environmental Protection yesterday urged people to give the ghost money they are planning to burn over the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday to city employees so it can be burned in city incinerators.

The department yesterday deployed trucks at Wenshan District’s (文山) Fude Columbarium and the Yamingshan Columbarium to collect ghost money.

Taipei Department of Civil Affairs employees handed out bags to ensure that the correct amounts of ghost money would be incinerated.

From 2012 to last year, the service has prevented an estimated 9,280 tonnes of carbon dioxide and 185.5 tonnes of particulates measuring less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter from being released into the atmosphere, Taipei Department of Environmental Protection division head Yan Ling-chen (顏伶珍) said.

The department also sends employees to public cemeteries throughout the seventh month of the lunar calendar, known as Ghost Month, and on the 15th of every lunar month to collect ghost money, Yan said.

Burning ghost money in open spaces produces air pollutants which can irritate people’s eyes and lungs, she said.

It also releases potentially carcinogenic chemicals, including benzene, toluene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, she said, adding that the sparks from ghost money carried by the wind can also cause fires.

People should burn ghost money sparingly to prevent pollution, she said.

Alternatively, they can just worship ancestors by praying with their hands, which is likely to have the same effect, she said.

The service is to be available until Tuesday.

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