Before 1984, most people in Taiwan dumped their garbage randomly at different places, and the waste disposal facilities were simple and primitive. To effectively manage the disposal of waste, the government formulated the "Municipal Waste Disposal Plan" in 1984 that focused on landfills. In 1991, the Garbage Disposal Plan was formulated, and laws were promulgated in 1998 to recycle discarded resources. These regulations completed the recycling system in Taiwan.
In recent years, waste minimization and resource recovery have become international trends, and advanced countries have initiated the principle of Zero Waste. The EPA submitted a report and suggestions on waste disposal to the Executive Yuan (Taiwan's Cabinet) in 2003 to promote Zero Waste and to launch the policy of "waste minimization and resource recovery" to promote green manufacturing, green consumption, source minimization, resource recovery, and reuse. These measures will effectively help recycling wastes and achieve the goals of Zero Waste.
According to the policy of Zero Waste, the EPA continues to implement the resource recovery policies formulated in 1998 in accordance with the trends of sustainable resources and Zero Waste. Source minimization and resource recovery are two major principles for waste disposal.
In addition, the EPA has developed several measures to solve waste problems and to reach the goals of Zero Waste. The measures include the promotion of resource recovery, waste minimization, resource recycling, waste clearance, waste disposal technologies and final disposal.
According to the seven abovementioned measures, the EPA formulated the Programs for General Waste Recycling and Resources and Resource Recovery, which include seven tasks: mandatory garbage sorting, versatile usage of kitchen waste, versatile usage of bulk waste, reuse of household renovation waste, zero waste, sewage treatment and retirement of old waste clearance vehicles.
Before the programs were implemented in 1984 only 2.55% of waste was properly disposed of. After their implementation, 99.98% of waste was properly disposed of in 2015. Incineration has replaced landfill as the principal means of waste disposal. At the end of 2015, 97.12% of wastes were incinerated and 2.83% was landfilled. Furthermore, after resource recovery was promoted in 1998 and garbage sorting in 2003, the resource recovery (including resources, kitchen waste and bulk waste) rate reached 55.23% in 2015.
In light of the fact that the ash of incineration is reusable, the EPA promotes the reuse of incinerated iron and other metals for construction use. The residuals of incineration can be added to bricks, asphalt concrete, and concrete. From 2003 to the end of June 2015, over 5,838,218 tonnes of incineration ash were reused.
After 2007, dumping raw waste into landfills was banned, except in rural areas. With the policy of Zero Waste, it is expected that waste will be slashed by 40% by 2011 and 75% by 2020. Taiwan hopes to become a Zero Waste society along with other developed countries.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)