New Ministry of Environment promises action on rubbish problems
The newly-launched Ministry of Environment (MOENV) has promised that the problem of "garbage mountains" in Taoyuan, Taitung and Hualian should be partially solved by the end of the year.
The ministry says with three new waste disposal facilities set to become operational this year, the daily incineration capacity will increase by 800 to 1,000 tons. Environment officials estimate that the waste disposal problem in those places can be gradually alleviated toward the end of the year. Officials say there were originally 24 incinerators in Taiwan with a processing capacity of 6.5 million tons per year, enough to dispose of the 4.7 million tons of combustible waste produced by households each year. However, local governments have increased the processing capacity for industrial waste due to a shortage of facilities in recent years, leading to a reduction in the capacity for household waste treatment.
The new ministry says it has initiated a scheduling mechanism to ensure the best use of processing capacity and speed up the resolution of waste issues.
The new Ministry of Environment officially began operations after a plaque-unveiling ceremony and the inauguration of its first minister, Shieu Fuh-Sheng. The government agency's upgrade comes after lawmakers passed the Organic Act for the Ministry of the Environment in May.
During the ceremony, President Tsai Ing-wen said the ministry will respond to global trends and will work with various sectors of society to help accelerate Taiwan's transition to net-zero emissions. Shieu has outlined his vision for the new ministry, saying it will work to improve environmental education and confront environmental challenges.
Four specialized agencies are being established under the Ministry of Environment. These include the Climate Change Agency, the Resource Recycling Agency, the Chemical Substance Management Agency, and the Environmental Management Agency. The ministry will also establish a National Environmental Research Institute to study ways to tackle climate change and other issues.