For all 24 large-scale incinerators across Taiwan to be able to maintain their operation capacity -- 6.5 million metric tons a year in total -- during an annual maintenance is an accomplishment jointly reached by their operators and local governments. Besides assisting in equipment updates and unit improvements, the EPA will help enhance the quality of wastes entering the incinerators, reuse and control of ash, which is part of the incinerator’s outputs, take inventory of greenhouse gases, and assess carbon reduction technologies.
Following the EPAs strategy to stabilize domestic incineration capacity, incinerators have incorporated equipment updates during their annual maintenance. To acknowledge local governments that have performed well in incinerator operations and mutually benefitting collaboration, the EPA held an award ceremony based on incinerators audit and evaluation results on Oct. 12. The EPA Minister Tzi-Chin Chang presented awards to these outstanding units and also expressed his gratitude to the staff who diligently carried out their duties during the peak period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Li-Tse Incinerator in Yilan County, Miaoli County Incinerator, and Wai-Tien Incinerator in Keelung City received the top honor. Their accomplishments included generating electricity with high efficiency and keeping pollution low in their emissions (far below the average emission of all 24 incinerators). Additionally, they have actively developed performance management systems and smart management technology with AI and even helped dispose of other counties and cities household garbage under the central governments coordination.
Six incinerators, including one in Lu-Cao, Chiayi, received the excellence award for enhancing inspections on incoming garbage with high-definition monitoring equipment, maintaining smooth operation for extended periods, actively assisting in cross-regional coordination, and reducing incineration ash. Not only so, special awards were given to another six incinerators, including Taoyuan City Incinerator, because of their utilization of innovative technologies, active reuse of fly ash, and promotion of energy conservation and carbon reduction.
Furthermore, the EPA awarded local environmental bureaus that showed high performance in supervising incinerators. Environmental bureaus of Kaohsiung City, Yilan County, and Keelung City were given excellence awards for helping with disposing of wastes from other counties and cities as well as their active and insightful planning of waste disposal. Five environmental bureaus, including one of Miaoli County, received special awards for their tremendous contributions toward overall waste controls through incinerator maintenance, mutually benefitting collaboration, and measures that audit waste sources.
The EPA stressed that the central government has since 2017 been actively assisting local governments in incinerator maintenance in order to extend their lives. The outstanding result is that the average operation percentage of all of Taiwan’s 24 incinerators reached 87.5% in 2021, which is record high. Power generation per metric ton of garbage had already achieved more than 530 kwh. Not only so, each incinerator has been actively carrying out measures as to align with the global trend in net-zero carbon emissions. These measures include switching to variable-frequency motors and changing fan blades materials to lower electricity usage, and also installing chillers, maintaining power generators, and improving production procedures, which have increased energy efficiency. In total, all incinerators in Taiwan have cut down carbon emissions by 59,000 metric tons over the past three years.
Despite having been in operation for 20 years on average, all incinerators will still play an important role in future garbage disposal. Other than continual assistance for county and city governments in updating incinerators facilities and improving units, the central government will help incinerators enhance the quality of incoming garbage, better reuse ash, take inventory of greenhouse gases, and assess carbon reduction technologies. The aim is to create a circular economy and achieve carbon reduction goals.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, November 2022
- Ministry of Environment