The EPA plans to establish one food waste bioenergy plant in each of northern, central, and southern Taiwan to enhance food waste disposal channels and promote a circular economy. Following the official start of operations of Waipu Green Energy Ecopark in Taichung City in 2019, Guanyin Bioenergy Center in Taoyuan City will be completed and start operating by the end of 2021.
According to the EPA, food waste is recycled domestically and is used to make pigswill (46%) or is composted or sent to bioenergy plants (54%). To enhance the capacities of all counties and cities to clear and process food waste by themselves, since 2017 the EPA has allocated more than NT$1.3 billion to subsidize all counties and cities to: set up 51 sets of food waste shredding and drying equipment and 17 sets of high-speed fermentation equipment; increase the efficiency of 47 existing composting plants, and; purchase collection and transport vehicles to enhance food waste disposal channels.
To promote food waste bioenergy plants, the EPA planned to set up one such plant in each of northern, central, and southern Taiwan and subsidize local governments to set up the plants through procurements. However, Taichung City and Taoyuan City proceeded with the plan through public-private partnerships to reduce financial burdens. As a result, Phase 1 of Waipu Green Energy Ecopark in Taichung City (80 metric tons/day) started operating on 9 July 2019, its Phase 2 is expected to operate in 2014, with a processing capacity of 70 metric tons/day, for a total of 150 metric tons/day. Guanyin Bioenergy Center in Taoyuan City (135 metric tons/day) is expected to be completed and begin trial operation at the end of 2021, while Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Kaohsiung City are still assessing and planning for such setups.
In addition, based on the experience of promoting livestock manure reutilization, the EPA is pursuing further development of the co-digestion method. It has subsidized the environmental bureau of New Taipei City and Central Farm in Pingtung County to carry out food waste and livestock manure co-digestion tests. In January 2021, material feeding tests were conducted, and the results showed that the biogas production and the electricity generation efficiency were both increased. These demonstrated that the domestic promotion of food waste bioenergy can yield concrete results in northern, central, and southern Taiwan.
The EPA noted that it would continue to intensify the promotion of bioenergy generated from food waste. Through cross-ministerial cooperation, it will fully take advantage of the anaerobic digestion systems of pig farms and sewage treatment plants to help process food waste. The biogas produced can be used as bioenergy, while the digestate turned into fertilizer for crop farms is also promoted by the EPA. In these ways, resources can be fully and effectively used, moving Taiwan towards a circular economy.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, November 2021
- Ministry of Environment