Mon, Feb 10, 2020 - Page 2 News List

Control Yuan censures Lanyu office over waste

COMMON PRACTICE:Control Yuan members said they found household trash across Orchid Island, but Lanyu officials said they were items that belonged to islanders

By Hsieh Chun-lin and Dennis Xie  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Control Yuan on Friday censured the administrative office on Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) for leaving more than 547 tonnes of mixed waste untreated in a landfill last year.

The Taitung County Government — which administers Orchid Island — has since 2012 been using subsidies offered by the central government to contract waste disposal operators to transport waste to Taiwan proper for disposal amid increasing amounts of garbage on the island, Control Yuan members said.

The rate of disposal was 100 percent in the first six years, but it plummeted to 62.9 percent in 2018, prompting the central government to launch an investigation, which was conducted by Control Yuan members Yang Fang-ling (楊芳玲) and Chang Jen-hsiang (章仁香), who visited the island in September last year.

Yang and Chang concluded that the Lanyu Township Office had contravened the Basic Environment Act (環境基本法) by failing to properly implement waste treatment and recycling policies.

Apart from piles of untreated garbage, they found large and recyclable trash littering the regular-trash zone in the landfill, they said.

Other waste was also found on several other sites across the island, including abandoned boats and bicycles, building materials, scooter exhaust pipes and tires, pieces of furniture and other household trash, the officials said in a report.

The vessel contracted to transport waste was undergoing annual maintenance in November 2018 and a northeast monsoon posed a safety hazard to sailing, rendering the island unable to transport its accumulated waste, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said in the report.

The EPA and the county government should take waste disposal seriously and figure out ways to prevent a similar situation from occurring, the Control Yuan members said.

The office said it is common practice for island residents to place personal belongings, such as refrigerators, washing machines or TVs, on public land, and disputes might arise if garbage collectors removed the objects without the owners’ consent.

The office urged residents not to place garbage on public land.

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