Cycle camp grounds set up on former landfill site

RUBBISH PIT STOP::The new facility, set up in Bali District, aims to allow weary cyclists to re-charge their batteries and caters to growing numbers of round-island cyclists

By Tsai Pai-ling and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Mon, Sep 03, 2012 - Page 3

New Taipei City’s (新北市) Bali District (八里) has recently converted what was originally a landfill site into a park complete with an area where cyclists can camp overnight.

According to Lin Sung-chin (林松槿), the manager of the original landfill rubbish dump, the park decided to set up a bicycle resting stop because many cyclists had said that it was difficult to find places to stay in the area.

Located between Linkou district (林口) and Bali, the original landfill site faces onto Provincial Highway No. 61, also known as the West Coast Expressway, and there are no lodgings or restaurant amenities located nearby, Lin said.

To address cyclists’ needs, the park area set up a bicycle rest area so that cyclists can access tires-inflation facilities, water supplies and to re-charge — both electronically and biologically, Lin said.

Four wooden platforms have been erected on the lawns that now cover the site of the original landfill, with each being able to accommodate up to six to eight people, Lin said, adding that the platforms also included facilities for green-power re-charging.

Cyclists will need to bring tents with them, Lin said, adding that if the campers were lucky, they might awake see some sheep grazing nearby as well.

With more people opting to go on round-island bicycle tours — including many Taiwanese and foreign cyclists — the park decided it made sense to provide the camping area for cyclists.

The camping grounds are for cyclists only and reservations can be made via the park’s Facebook page, Lin said.

Lin said that he hoped more people would use their zero-emitting bicycles now that the camping area has been set up, adding that this summer nearly 40 people had opted to camp there.

The landfill area is no longer a dirty, smelly pit full of garbage, but has now become a park with a rich ecology suitable for family trips, Lin said.