In an attempt to prevent the spread of African swine flu, the EPA invited regional environmental bureaus to convene a meeting on 15 January 2019. The attendees examined food waste production amounts and management methods, and then formulated short-, mid-, and long-term plans for food waste disposal and treatment.
Regional environmental bureaus that participated in the meeting came from New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Taichung City, Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, Yilan County, Hsinchu County, Miaoli County, Changhua County, Pingtung County, and Hsinchu City. The EPA stated that the bureaus will submit to the Council of Agriculture (COA) formal documents to ask for extensions for pig farms within their jurisdictions that have not yet been inspected to receive permission to use their high-temperature steam cookers to process food waste. During this period, county and city environmental bureaus are required by the EPA to make sure that enterprises already able to steam cook food waste reapply for qualification. Regional environmental units will also intensify inspections by working with agricultural and administrative departments, which will assist pig farms without steam cooking facilities to use animal feed instead.
The EPA has set up plans to enhance short-, mid-, and long-term capacity to process food waste. In the short term, regional governments are to be subsidized to install emergency processing facilities, such as shredding, drying, and pulping equipment and fast fermentation treatment modules, the cost of which is NT$450 million. County and city governments are urged to submit applications for purchasing equipment.
Mid-term goals include strengthening processing capacity of public regional composting plants, assisting public sewage treatment plants to dispose food waste through anaerobic digestion, and assisting large civil enterprises to set up fast fermentation equipment themselves.
The long-term plan for food waste will focus on bioenergy. Taichung City completed the first phase of disposal facility construction in October 2018 (with a daily capacity of 80 metric tons), and construction of another one in Taoyuan City is expected to be complete by July 2021. Disposal facilities in Tainan City, Yilan County, Taipei City, and Kaohsiung City are currently underway, and when completed are expected to treat 800 metric tons of household food waste every day.
Lastly, the EPA emphasized that the fight against swine flu will need all citizens and government agencies to contribute together and thus requested cooperation from regional environmental protection units.
(1) If pig farms in respective jurisdictions switch from food waste to animal feeds, producing counties or cities should be informed to respond early and track flows of food waste.
(2) Regional governments are asked to work with private composting plants.
(3) Food waste sources with production capacity of over a ton should be assisted to set up their own treatment equipment themselves.
(4) As Chinese New Year drew near, regional governments were to put more effort on promoting to the public ideas of cherishing food, shaking off excess water from food waste, and making holiday meal plans that responsibly managed excess food.
(5) Those that plan to send their own food waste to incinerators for disposal will receive subsidies for forklifts needed for operations.
(6) Each county and city is to immediately propose subsidies needed to purchase drying and shredding facilities and high-effective composting modules in the short term. For the mid- and long-term, county and city governments will help enable anaerobic digestion equipment in public sewage treatment plants to dispose of and treat food waste, as well as subsidize establishment of regional composting sites and bioenergy plants.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 22(2)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)