Sun, Oct 22, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Survey ranks cities for environmental action

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

New Taipei City and Taichung performed best at promoting environmental actions last year, while Hualien, Taitung, Chiayi and Penghu counties did not submit documents for evaluation, a survey by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) showed earlier this month.

The union invited experts to form an ad hoc committee to evaluate the environmental protection achievements of the nation’s municipalities last year.

The union identified 62 criteria and divided them into four categories — energy transformation, pollution reduction, land protection and “green” transportation — TEPU vice chairman Liu Jih-jian (劉志堅) said on Oct. 3.

New Taipei City and Taichung received three “A’s” for overall performance, the best of all the municipalities, followed by Taipei and Taoyuan with two “A’s,” Liu said.

Hualien, Taitung, Chiayi and Penghu counties received “F’s” for not having submitted any documents for evaluation, nor did they present any environment-related policies, TEPU chairman Liu Chun-hsiu (劉俊秀) said, denouncing the counties’ inaction.

There is much room for improvement regarding saving energy and separating food scraps from garbage, Liu Jih-jian said.

One of the 20 suggestions that the union made to candidates in the 2014 municipal elections is that every person should decrease their electricity consumption by 5 percent every year, but the proposal failed, he said.

While the average reduction in an individual’s energy consumption was 2 percent in 2015, it saw a rebound of 2 percent last year, he said.

People should also make more of an effort to recycle leftovers, given that food scraps take up 40 percent of garbage, he said.

Tainan outperformed New Taipei City, Kaohsiung and Taipei in recycling food scraps last year, Taiwan Watch Institute secretary-general Herlin Hsieh (謝和霖) said.

The garbage of Pingtung, Chiayi and Nantou counties, as well as Chiayi and Keelung cities, was found to contain the largest amount of food waste, Hsieh said.

Taoyuan’s performance in recycling food scraps was the nation’s second-worst even though it is one of the six special municipalities and commands more resources, he said, adding that Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) should be alerted to the situation.

Taoyuan could install additional facilities to turn food scraps into fertilizer, instead of building another incinerator for its 600 tonnes of garbage daily, Hsieh said.

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