Seventy-four percent of Taipei residents agree that there should be roadside trash bins, while 21 percent disagree, a survey released on Thursday by the Taipei City Research Development and Evaluation Commission found.
Asked about locations where bins are needed, 87 percent of respondents approved of placing trash bins at night markets or business districts, while 12 percent disapproved, the poll showed.
Forty-three percent of respondents said that they are aware that littering results in a fine, it showed.
Directors of some business districts, as well as most borough wardens, oppose having roadside trash bins, because many people would dispose of household trash in them, the commission said.
The Ximending (西門町) area has 77 sites with public trash bins, while Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) has 16 sites, Ningxia Night Market (寧夏夜市) has eight and Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市) has three, Taipei Department of Environmental Protection statistics showed.
Ye Min-hui (葉敏惠), warden of Ximen Borough (西門) in Wanhua District (萬華), said that public bins are often packed with household trash and even trash from stores, so Ximending removed some of its bins this year and the streets became cleaner.
Most cleaners think that public bins, often packed with household trash, do not make the environment better, Taipei Environmental Workers’ Union director Chiang Wan-chin (蔣萬金) said.
Although the city’s cleaning staff patrol every two hours, including after midnight, many roadside trash bins are still filled to the brim, Chiang said.
“The cleaners do not fear collecting trash, but worry about a polluted city,” he added.
The Shilin Night Market is supervised by more than one management group due to its size, Shilin Night Market Development and Promotion Association director Su Wen-shan (蘇文山) said.
Although some groups have decided to have trash bins, some have not, Su said, adding that given the high foot traffic, he believes that the night market needs more.
The number of public trash bins in Taipei has declined from more than 3,000 to 1,272, as part of the city’s efforts to reduce the number of bins, the city’s Environmental Cleaning and Maintenance Division head Huang Kuan-chu (黃寬助) said.
If more bins are to be added, places with high foot traffic should be prioritized, such as MRT stations, night markets and tourist attractions, Huang added.
To assess locations where people want trash bins, the agency conducts a site visit with the borough warden and other authorities, he said.
Thirty-five to 41 percent of littering cases in the past few years have involved trash found near public bins, he added.
More bins would require stricter enforcement, with the use of mobile cameras to collect evidence of littering, Huang said, adding that offenders would face fines of NT$1,200 to NT$3,600.
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