The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said it would subsidize pig farms in seven cities and counties that agree to install pig toilets to help curb water and waste pollution.
“The EPA will provide NT$1,500 [US$50] for each pig toilet installed under an exemplary plan for cleaner pig farms promoted by the EPA,” said Hsu Yung-hsing (許永興), director of the Department of Water Quality.
Under the plan, it has advised 95 pig farms in three counties — Yilan, Yunlin, and Changhua — to build 3,350 pig toilets.
The EPA will further promote the pig toilets in seven other cities and counties — Greater Tainan, Greater Kaohsiung and Hsinchu, Miaoli, Chiayi, Pingtung and Hualien counties — by March to give a total of nearly 7,000 pig toilets.
It is estimated that the toilets could cut waste produced by 177,600 hogs, Hsu said.
EPA statistics show the nation has 6.19 million pigs and the waste they produce accounts for 26 percent of river pollution. Pig feces and urine contain high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, which not only affect water quality but produce unpleasant odors. The conventional way of cleaning pig farms, which consists of spraying water and channeling the feces into ditches, is dirty, smelly and increases the mortality rate of piglets.
The survival rate of piglets on conventional pig farms is about 85 percent, but after the installation of the pig toilets, the survival rate rises to 98 percent, said Wu Chi-lin (吳麒麟), president of the DaChan Greatwall Group.