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COMPASS MAGAZINE > November 2009

The first food waste recycling area in Taiwan: Taichung City's Yu Le Yuan
The winning name, "Yu Le

The first food waste recycling area in Taiwan: Taichung City's Yu Le Yuan
Calligraphy for "Yun Le Yuan"
with the mayor's signature.

The first food waste recycling area in Taiwan: Taichung City's Yu Le Yuan
Painting on the outer walls.

The first food waste recycling area in Taiwan: Taichung City's Yu Le Yuan
Calligrapher Ming-shan Chien

The first food waste recycling area in Taiwan: Taichung City's Yu Le Yuan

By Douglas Habecker Translated by Naomi Lai

The opening of Taiwan's first food waste recycling area, named Yu Le Yuan (in Chinese, this name's pronunciation sounds like "Happy Land"), was held at 10 a.m. on Oct. 24. During the opening ceremony, well-known Chinese calligrapher Ming-Shan Chien created one of his works on the spot, including the area's name and signatures from Jason Hu, Mayor of Taichung City; Jyh-Horng Lin, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Environmental Inspection of the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan; and Kuei-Hsin Mu, Director of the Bureau of Environmental Protection of Taichung City. This calligraphy piece is currently on display at the Recycling Exhibition Hall.

Mayor Hu noted in his opening remarks a 56.2% reduction in trash per household between January and September this year, and the recycling rate's five-time increase to 43.5% since 1999, when it was only 8.9%. Enormous amounts of food waste are created by food-loving local residents, and this multi-functional food waste area, the first of its kind in the nation, will further improve the garbage situation and help solve the city's food waste problems.
Analyzing garbage over the past five years, Deputy Director Lin noted a 37.4% reduction in food waste, from 2,163,401 tons to 1,354,238 tons, while the recycling rate has gone up from 19.7% to 43.2% nationwide. This is testimony to public cooperation with and successful results from environmental protection institutional policies for mandatory garbage sorting and recycling. In particular, Taichung City's efficiency in recycling food waste has gained a good reputation among other cities in Taiwan. The new garden is especially worth visiting because of its unprecedented food-waste fodder factory and manure area.

To name the new facility, an online competition was held by the Taichung City Bureau of Environmental Protection and resulted in suggestions such as "Food Waste GO" (from Ms. Yu, Yueh-E), "Yu Le Quan" (Ms. Hsu, Ching-Hua), "Scraps Mine 500" (Ms. Liu, Ni-Jung), "Prospect Garden" (Mr. Lin, Tong-Fa) and "Chu Liuxiang" (Mr. Li, Chin-Hao). The opening ceremony started with a God of Fortune Blessing Dance, followed by Mayor Hu's announcement of the creative winning name, "Yu Le Quan", offered by Ms. Hsu, an accountant from Taipei.

Wen Shan Elementary School students also performed a lion dance at the opening. Stamps and envelopes with pictures of the Zhuang-Yuan Chicken (Bureau of Environmental Protection's own brand of chicken feed with fodder created from food waste) were handed out; a temporary post office and a DIY gardening area were set up; and special food waste area promotional stamps and materials were also given out.

Many people from the Recycling Tour attended the opening ceremony for special introductory tours of the new area. A sketching competition was also held for children, while painting activities on the outer walls of the manure area provided opportunities for artistic expression by junior high school, senior high school and university students.

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