Turning the Waste into Gold - A Reward Service System of Recyclables in New Taipei City
Having the most growing population city in Taiwan, New Taipei City Government concerns the issue of the sustainable waste management. To lower the amount of the waste, a policy of “Pay As You Throw Policy” was first implemented in the end of 2010. The amount of the waste was dropped by 50%; however, it was found that 22% of the waste was recyclable and reusable. Therefore, another innovative policy was conducted in August 2011, the “Recycling Rewards Service System.” The policy encouraged the village chiefs to establish the Recycling Stations in the neighborhoods. The residents can exchange the garbage bags for free or other green appliances instead when they hand in the recyclables. Meanwhile, the income from selling the recyclables is also served as public
use such as infrastructure enhancement and the social welfare support for the villagers with disadvantaged background.
The Recycling Rewards Service System functions as a feedback mechanism as well. The effect is significant. According to the statistics in 2016, more than 52% or 117,846 tons of recyclables were collected, and the fund for the public use was up to US$11.09 million dollars. In addition, 3.98 million of trash bags or US$583,000 dollars of green products were exchanged by the citizens. Furthermore, more than 790,000 of volunteer workers were involved in the service and 570,000 of residents participated in the recyclables, which set a good example of public-private cooperation. Also, the project created 25,000 jobs for the disadvantaged groups. Most importantly, the habit transformation toward the waste was reshaped. The residents sort recyclables while they litter the waste. The goal of zero waste and 100% recycling rate were gradually reached.
The Recycling Rewards Service System complemented in New Taipei City is successful. The raise of residents’ willingness in classification of the waste and cohesion of the villages are high through the cooperation of the public and the private. In particular, the goal of social equality is also covered due to more care to the disadvantaged citizens.
(This is an abstract submitted to and accepted by Metropolis for an oral presentation at the 12th Metropolis World Congress)