The rapid economic development in recent years has resulted in greater complexity in handling industrial waste disposal. Before Taiwan revised its Waste Disposal Act in 1999, businesses either had to dispose of their waste on their own or commission government departments. At that time, industrial waste was often abandoned illegally, and the reasons included incompetent government administration, insufficient capacity of waste disposal facilities, and high cost of waste disposal. In 1999, the EPA revised the Waste Disposal Act, formed the legal framework for industrial waste disposal, developed waste disposal methods, and established regulatory frameworks for issuing penalties. In 2000, the EPA formulated the "National Industrial Waste Disposal and Management Program" and established the "Industrial Waste Control Center" as well as a reporting system that controls the complete life cycle of industrial wastes from generation to disposal. With source management, registrations and inspections, the EPA inspects unidentified industrial waste dump sites and has established a complete database. The EPA assists in the establishment of industrial waste disposal facilities to reduce and recycle industrial wastes. The administration also manages government waste disposal departments and cooperates with private waste disposal companies to solve the problem of insufficient capacity of waste disposal facilities, while forming diversified disposal mechanisms for the better disposal of industrial waste.
The EPA initiated the program of zero industrial waste in 2003 and incorporated the ideas of prevention, economic incentives, goal management and coordination:
(1) Industrial waste clearance registration and inspections: 1) the EPA continues to enhance the digital management of industrial waste and expand the scope of registration to assist local governments to inspect and control industrial wastes; 2) the EPA equips waste clearance vehicles with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to analyze the movements of clearance vehicles and automatize inspections.
(2) The EPA continues to provide waste disposal departments or private waste disposal companies with assistance, to assess their technologies for waste disposal and to conduct environmental impact assessments. These will improve the effects of industrial waste disposal.
(3) The EPA integrates and coordinates competent authorities and conducts industrial waste reuse assessments to raise the percentage of recyclable wastes.
(1) Taiwan has established the first online waste control system in the world, with over 61,000 businesses under the supervision of the government. The e-government serves as the entry website for industrial waste management, and provides competent authorities with information regarding statistics and disposal of wastes.
(2) The e-government functions as the only entry window for these services. The system can provide remote services, and a broad band of 6G. There are 20,000 visits every day, and the service center provides 100,000 phone consultation services every year.
(3) The 4,200 clearance vehicles are equipped with GPS; when the trucks are on duty, their routes are sent to the EPA every 30 seconds, and EPA responses can track or check the vehicles on their Ultra Mobile Personal Computer (UMPC).This will discourage any illegal dumping of waste.
(4) The EPA has organized over 290 conferences to promote industrial waste management, and the EPA collects feedback regularly to achieve effective communication.
(5) Every year, 57 staff members are dispatched to assist local environmental protection departments to establish databases of industrial waste management. This will build the capacities of local governments.
(6) The EPA has completed a database of the relations between 33 types of manufacturing industries and 303 processing industries for the reference of local governments.
(7) By the end of 2008, the EPA database collected data from 61,000 businesses and requested 23,000 businesses to register online. The online declaration rate reached 97.3%, and the submission rate of Industrial Wastes Disposal Plan reached 96.6%.
(8) According to the Environmental Protection Enforcement Program, environmental protection inspectors cooperated with the police to inspect 7,906 businesses and punish 415 businesses in 2008.
In the future, the EPA will initiate more prospective policies to achieve the goal of Zero Industrial Wastes. The new policies and management strategies of industrial wastes will take into consideration Taiwan's background of waste management and the changing industrial structures, environmental risks, and economic benefits. It is expected to achieve resource recovery, hazardous industrial waste control, and to employ information technology for the control and inspection of industrial waste. Also, the EPA expects to reduce industrial waste by 10% and reuse 85% of the collected waste by 2020. "Sustainable development," "resource recovery and reuse," and "zero waste" are international trends that Taiwan will follow. The management of industrial waste can benefit and sustain social welfare, economic growth and environmental protection.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)