On 7 September 2020, the EPA held the 2019 Incineration Plant and Bottom Ash Recycling Evaluation and Awarding Ceremony to recognize the efforts and achievements of local governments towards maintaining incineration plants and promoting the recycling of bottom ash. To reward their accomplishments, the awards were handed to representatives of the plants with outstanding performance by EPA Minister Tzi-chin Chang and the evaluation committee. During the ceremony, the EPA also expressed its respect for first-line workers of the plants who are directly engaged in the operations and who have been devoting their time to protecting the environment.
There are currently 24 operating mid- or large-scale waste incineration plants in Taiwan. In 2019, these plants generated a total of 3.459 billion kWh of electricity, which is equivalent to an average of 530 kWh of electricity per metric ton of waste incinerated. Both the total energy generation and operational efficiencies of incinerators in 2019 hit record highs. Approximately 756,000 metric tons of bottom ash was recycled in 2019, which amounts to a recycling rate of 82.7%. The EPA plans to make a few adjustments to the policies regarding waste treatment in incineration plants, including changing quality controls for input materials at the front-end and the management of bottom ash at the back-end. To meet public expectations of incineration plant reforms, the EPA’s goal is to promote mechanical treatment to convert waste to energy, achieve waste homogeneity, transform waste into fuel, and improve the quality of bottom ash while also reducing the total amount of it that is produced.
The EPA conducts annual audits to evaluate and reward the performances of local governments. The purposes of the audits are also to ensure that plants operate and carry out maintenance properly, increase the operation efficiency of incineration plants, and promote bottom ash recycling. The evaluation focuses on air pollution prevention upgrades and bottom ash reduction. This year, Keelung City Incineration Plant and Yilan County's Lize Plant won outstanding performance awards for their high energy production and energy utilization efficiency, their continuous efforts in cutting down air pollution emissions, and their active participation in regional cooperation.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (10)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)