EPA clarifies garbage plans

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jul 02, 2013 - Page 4

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday confirmed that it will not implement a proposal to charge trash disposal fees based on weight, a measure that was reported by the media last week and which led to a degree of public confusion.

The Chinese-language Apple Daily said last week that the EPA was considering a policy of charging household trash disposal fees according to the weight of the garbage being thrown away, and that the policy would also allow people to pay the fee using EasyCards.

On the day of the news report, EPA Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) cast doubt on its accuracy, but the EPA yesterday said many people were still worried about the proposal and had called the agency to ask about it. Therefore, the agency had decided to hold a press conference to restate that the policy is not going to be enforced.

“There are many factors to be considered, including convenience for the public … so before such a policy could be implemented there are many factors that would need to be addressed,” EPA Deputy Minister Chang Tzi-chin (張子敬) said.

“As a result, there is no such plan [to implement the proposal] at the moment,” Chang added.

The deputy minister said that the policy was proposed by a civic environmental consulting firm, which suggested that if the EPA collaborated with communities, schools or convenience stores to establish a “community-based, weight-based refrigerated garbage disposal fee collection system,” it would benefit people who have difficulties with the appointed time for garbage collection near their homes.

Chang said that the policy would not be enforced if technical difficulties could not be overcome, adding that the public should not worry.