The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) on Tuesday said that it is exploring more diverse methods of refuse disposal, such as establishing five biofuel-fired power generators by 2024.
Last year, the nation produced 9.31 million tonnes of trash — including items not yet sorted for recycling — with 900,000 tonnes, or 31 percent, of trash sent to incinerators, EPA statistics showed.
If a way could be found to prevent the 900,000 tonnes from being sent to incinerators, it would greatly extend the service life of the incinerators, Bureau of Environmental Inspection Technical Supervisor Lin Tso-hsiang (林佐祥) said.
The EPA is examining other methods for diversifying the processing of refuse — most of which is uncooked food — and kitchen scraps, such as running it through dehydrators and then composting it, Lin added.
The bad smell is due to refuse being 85 percent water, Lin said, adding that dehydration can reduce the water content to 70 percent.
Composting machines could greatly shorten the time needed to turn refuse into compost, Lin said.
“Composted refuse takes up less room and smells better,” he added.
More than half of all recycled refuse is composted, he added.
Using compost, the flower trade in Hsinchu County’s Jhushan Township (竹山) has seen a substantial increase in its monthly yield of flowers, allowing it to gift the extra flowers to organizations or the township, he said.
Taichung has a biofuel plant, and the EPA plans to build biofuel plants in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Kaohsiung, he added.
Once all five plants are on the power grid, Taiwan could handle an additional 230,000 tonnes of refuse per year, while generating 41.97 million kilowatt-hours of power per year, Lin said.
The electricity generated could power 11,000 households for an entire year and the power plants could earn NT$214.79 million (US$7.27 million) from selling excess power, Lin said, adding that generating power from biofuel would reduce carbon emissions by 22,200 tonnes per year.
In other news, the EPA is encouraging the public to use a new app that shows the location of the nearest public drinking fountain, with the aim of reducing the use of bottled water.
The Water Refill Map, or Offer Tea (奉茶) in Chinese, is available on iOS and Android, and provides information on drinking fountains installed by government agencies and local businesses, the agency said on Wednesday.
The app, which was launched a few months ago, shows more than 6,000 drinking fountains throughout Taiwan, it said, adding that the number is expected to double by the end of this year.
The app would show more public drinking fountains nationwide than there are convenience stores, the agency said.
The goal is to reduce the use of bottled water in Taiwan, where consumption averages 1 billion bottles per year, EPA Deputy Minister Tsai Hung-teh (蔡鴻德) said, adding that lining up that many plastic bottles end to end would encircle the Earth 5.7 times.
Although Taiwan does a good job of recycling, there is still a lot of plastic pollution in the environment, Tsai said, adding that reducing the use of plastic bottles would help lower energy consumption and carbon emissions from fossil fuels.
CircuPlus, the company that developed the app, said that it has a function that allows users to report any issues with a drinking fountain’s water quality.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
Scooter riders should regularly clean their helmets, especially in summer, to prevent dirt and sweat from accumulating and causing scalp problems, such as hair loss and permanent baldness, a dermatologist has warned. Poor hygiene practices by helmet wearers often lead to scalp problems, such as bacterial folliculitis, tinea capitis and seborrheic dermatitis, Lu Pei-hsuan (呂佩璇) at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said on Aug 31. The first step to maintain good scalp care is proper hair washing, as shampoo residues can easily cause dandruff and itchy scalps, while improper scratching will cause inflammation, Lu said. The best way to wash your hair is to
INTIMIDATION: Chinese military maneuvers have mostly led to heightened support for Taiwan’s defense forces, while China appears poised to continue its campaign China’s incessant military activities in and near the Taiwan Strait over the past several months are “greater in meaning than in substance,” and are aimed at polarizing Taiwanese society, a researcher said in a report published on Friday. China has attempted to intimidate Taiwan through military threats, while at the same time calling on Taiwanese and US officials to practice restraint, which is aimed at causing a rift between those who prefer resistance against China and those who prefer peace, said Lee Kuan-cheng (李冠成), a researcher at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research. “China’s goal is to obscure public awareness
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and