US Smithsonian magazine praises Taiwan’s recycling success

Taiwan's success in building one of the world's most efficient recycling programs has been highlighted by the online magazine of the U.S.-based Smithsonian Institution group of museums and research centers.

The Jan. 3 feature headlined How Taiwan Has Achieved One of the Highest Recycling Rates in the World, credited the accomplishment to a government scheme that gives greater responsibility to companies and citizens to sort and discard their own waste and efforts to raise public awareness.

Businesses are required to handle their own garbage or pay a fee to government- or private-run outfits while residents must separate their trash and deposit it into trucks that drive around at fixed times in the evening. In Taipei and New Taipei cities, waste must be put into pre-paid bags whereas there is no such restriction on recycling.

Taiwan is also in the process of rolling out smart rubbish and recycling machines, the report added. Called iTrash stations, the devices charge for household garbage and add credit to transit cards for recycling, giving the public more flexibility in terms of when they can throw their rubbish away.

Local innovative products like Taipei-based Miniwiz's polli-brick, a translucent panel made from old plastic bottles, were spotlighted as playing a part in reducing the nation's waste. The recycled material was used to construct the EcoARK, a nine-story pavilion built for the 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition.

According to the Cabinet-level Environmental Protection Administration, Taiwan recycled about 53 percent of its household waste in 2017.

The Smithsonian article originally appeared on Ensia, a nonprofit media outlet published by the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.

Source: Taiwan Today