EPA pushes to turn waste plants into bio-energy creating centers

The China Post news staff

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday announced that the future of the nation’s waste management is to transform refuse incineration plants to bio-energy recycling centers and excavate landfills and reuse the sites. Such policies will fulfill the objective of creating renewable energy resources while reducing the nation’s carbon footprint, the EPA’s Department of Waste Management said.

Taiwan currently has 26 large-scale waste incinerators, with general waste accounting for about 70 percent, and 30 percent of general industrial waste. The waste management department said to make use of the biomass often found in waste, it proposed to transform incinerators into living centers of mass energy.

The EPA estimated that 400 tons of garbage could be converted into 1 million tons of coal, which is equivalent to 640,000 tons of coal energy. If incinerators are transformed into bio-energy centers, the increased electricity output will result in higher electricity sales while being, at the same time, much more environmentally friendly. There are a total of 404 landfills in Taiwan. The EPA said it plans to excavate the sites and sort through the buried waste for renewable energy sources in the future. This can improve the adverse effects landfills have on the environment. Although the excavation may result in atmospheric dust, strong odors and noise, the EPA will strongly implement pollution control measures and environmental monitoring to reduce the impact of the excavation on surrounding residents. As for “reviving” the excavated landfills, the EPA plans to sort through the buried waste and recycle glass, metal and flammables, reuse rocks and pebbles for paving roads, etc. The Taipei City Department of Environmental Protection voiced concern over the massive operation that is needed to transform the incinerators. The city is currently promoting cutting down on waste disposal, and in a cursory estimation, the department said the EPA policy would encounter budget and technical problems.