Neihu 'garbage mountain' to become park
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The infamous “garbage mountain” in Taipei City's Neihu District will be completely cleaned up by September and then turned into a vast green area for environmental protection and recreational activities, said Mayor Hau Lung-bin.
February 20, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
When inspecting the cleanup operations yesterday, Hau said there will be a green land area the size of three soccer fields to improve the environment for the residents and companies operating at the Neihu Technology Park.
In spite of questions raised by some city council members that the waste-clearing operations could benefit some profit-seeking enterprises, Hau has accelerated the project.
The site near the Keelung River and an incinerator were chosen for the landfill and dumped with household garbage since 1970 before it was closed in 1985 following noise complaints.
Former Mayor Ma Ying-jeou launched the cleanup endeavor seven years ago. The “garbage mountain” formed by a controversial waste-processing project in the capital city, had long been a controversial topic.
Hau called the existence of the “garbage mountain” a “backward symbol” for an international metropolis like Taipei.
He said residents will soon be able to enjoy various recreational and athletic activities at the site while the green area of 16 hectares will help improve the environmental quality for people living and working in Taipei because it will become an additional “lung of Taipei” after the creation of the Daan Park.
There have been numerous ancient coins, rare brassware, artifacts and cultural products uncovered as the city government adopted the delicate processing operations when moving the garbage dumped more than four decades earlier.
The city government plans to gather the reclaimed items with heritage values for public exhibition.
Meanwhile, Hau also announced a measure to cut the prices of designated garbage bags used in Taipei as a reward for residents' support for waste recycling and garbage reduction.
Starting from March 1, the price of designated garbage bags will be slashed by 20 percent, ranging from NT$6 to NT$69 per kilogram depending on the sizes and materials of the bags.
A family with five people is expected to save around NT$20 in bag costs each month, estimated officials.
Taipei City has required households use designated garbage bags in lieu of levying a trash disposal fee starting in July 2000.
The residents' active support for waste reduction and recycling has helped slash the total garbage volume by 66 percent to 986 metric tons per day from 2,970 tons, said officials.