Recycling System

4.1 The 4-in-1 Recycling Program

 

The 4-in-1 recycling program promoted by the EPA since January 1997 is a system that uses recycling, clearance and disposal fees collected from manufacturers and importers to establish a Recycling Fund, which is then used to subsidize the recycling disposal system and extend the responsibility of these enterprises. This system provides adequate economic incentives to encourage the development of recycling and reuse industries and to create output value and employment opportunities. This specially designed feedback mechanism makes local cleaning teams and people from the community even more involved in recycling work. And, the ultimate beneficiaries are the people living on this land.

Recycling Fund: Based on the principle of “Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)? this fund was defined that recycling, clearance and disposal work is the responsibility of the manufacturers, importers and vendors. These responsible enterprises shall pay for the recycling, clearance and disposal fees, and subsidize recycling and recycling enterprises and local governments to deal with the recycling, clearing and reprocessing work. With the guarding of Fee Rate Review Committee and the audit and certification system, it is ensured that every recyclable item will be adequately recycled and disposed of .Recycling fund is the key that has made this project successful.

Local Authority (Cleaning Teams): Local authority shall collect and dispose of resource materials and general wastes separately, where the implementation methods are decided and stipulated by local authority respectively. The income of selling resource materials for those collected from people or by local cleaning teams, will be feedback to the people and workers who participated at a certain ratio.

Recycling Enterprises: To encourage the private sector to join the recycling work, recycling enterprises purchase waste resources from the public, communities, groups and cleaning teams at market price. In order to avoid recycling and disposal enterprises creating any pollution during the recycling or disposing process of regulated recyclable wastes, the “Management Regulations Governing Responsible Enterprises for Regulated Recyclable Waste?and “Methods and Facilities Standards for the Recycling, Storage, Clearance and Disposal of Regulated Recyclable Waste?were enacted as ordinances for recycling enterprises to implement the recycling work.

Community Public: To promote household waste sorting through recycling organizations established by community public. That is, to separate recyclable resources like bottles, cans, containers, paper and waste mercury batteries from other household wastes and sort them in individual categories. These resource materials and wastes are collected separately at recycling points or by cleaning teams and private recycling enterprises; after being collected, these resources will then be reused. Moreover, by subsidizing private groups, holding different kinds of recycling promotion activities with the private sector, and inspecting the status of these activities randomly, the purpose of propagating the recycling work was achieved.

Combining these four strengths, a complete recycling network was established to ensure that resource materials will be recycled, reused or disposed of properly; and the participating people, cleaning teams and recycling enterprises will obtain reasonable profits or rewards, having this feedback system encouraged a nationwide participation. The 4-in-1 recycling program diagram is shown below:

A Diagram of the 4-in-1 Recycling Program

4.2 Fund Revenue, Expenditure, Safekeeping and Utilization

 

A.         The Mechanism of Stipulating Levy Rate and Subsidy Rate

The recycling, clearance and disposal fee and subsidy rate are the keys to the success of the resource recycling system, which also make a direct impact on enterprises?costs and competitiveness. The Fee Rate Review Committee is formed by representatives from industries and commercial circles, environmental protection groups, consumer protection groups, scholars and specialists, and government agencies all selected and hired by the head of EPA. Its mission include: Stipulating and calculating levy and subsidy rates for regulated recycling, clearable and disposal articles or their packaging and containers; adjusting topics to be deliberated; and deliberating some other details regarding the levy and subsidy rates.

 

B.          Levying the Recycling Fund

According to Article 16 of the Waste Disposal Act, EPA will charge recycling, clearance and disposal fees to designated responsible enterprises as announced publicly; a resource recycling management fund will also be established and will be used in promoting recycling work.

The recycling, clearance and disposal fee paid by responsible enterprises is the fundamental revenue of the current recycling system. Below is a simplified diagram of their relations:

Officially Announced Recyclable Wastes ?The Article and Cash Flows

 

C.          Issuing the Subsidy

According to Article 17 of the Waste Disposal Act, the resource recycling fund shall be used in paying the recycling, clearance and disposal subsidy. Article 18 also stipulates that waste recycling and disposal industries can apply subsidies from the Resource Recycling Fund. If one’s application corresponds to regulated facilities standards and operation regulations, the subsidy will then be issued upon approval

 

D.         Entrusting Financial Organizations for Fund Revenue, Expenditure and Safekeeping

According to Article 11 of Partial Revenues, Expenditures, Safekeeping, and Utilization Regulations of Resource Recycling Fund (Trust Fund), the Fund Management Committee shall open an account in designated financial institution as stated in public announcement, in which the responsible enterprises shall submit their recycling, clearance and disposal fees.

 

E.          Utilization of the Recycling Fund ?Special Purpose Funds for Earmarked Tax

Upholding “the polluter pays?spirit, the recycling, clearance and disposal fee is an earmarked tax that the levied amount shall be applied based on the “special purpose funds for a specific designated purpose?principle. The resource recycling fund can be categorized as a trust fund and a non-operating fund. The trust fund is used to disburse subsidies for waste recycling and disposal industries; non-operating fund, on the other hand, is used to maintain the operation of recycling fund and subsidize and reward communities and local government for promoting the recycling work.


4.3 Management of Responsible Enterprises

Enterprises responsible for recycling, clearance and disposal as designated in the public announcement are manufacturers and importers of recyclable containers and articles (thereinafter referred as “Responsible Enterprises?, who shall register themselves with EPA as responsible enterprises. Within 15 days after paying periodic sales tax, responsible enterprises shall declare their business or import volume and, based their reported volume and the publicly announced rates, pay the recycling, clearance and disposal fees as the resource recycling fund.

The competent authority can check the business, recycling and disposal volumes of responsible enterprises, and request for further related information; in case of any necessity, it is a must to request competent tax authorities?assistance in audit.

Based on the principle of “reporting it honestly, paying it proactively? the resource recycling fund shall be paid by responsible enterprises spontaneously. To have responsible enterprises reported the real volumes and to prevent having any omitted or under-reported volume, EPA has adopted the “subsequent review?method to examine responsible enterprises?real volumes.

There are totally 13 categories and 33 items of regulated recyclable wastes at the end of 2014. Details are as shown below:

The Regulated Recyclable Wastes in 33 Items of 13 Categories




Among different types of resource recycling work, enterprises shall comply with the laws to fulfill their responsibilities as shown in the table below

 

An Overview of Responsible Enterprises and Their Responsibilities

Enterprise Categories

Application of Registration

Reporting the Business Volume/(Import Volume)

Disbursing the Fees

Recycling Symbols

Container Product Manufacturers / Importers

Container Manufacturers / Importers

Flat Container Manufacturers / Importers

Non-Flat and Disposable Tableware Manufacturers / Importers

Dry Battery Manufacturers

Dry Battery Importers

Article Importers

Article Manufacturers

Commissioned Manufacturers

Raw materials of Biomass Plastics

Manufacturers

Importers

Sheets of Making Biomass Plastic Flat Containers

Manufacturers

Importers

Biomass Plastic Flat Containers

Manufacturers

Importers

Non-Flat Disposable Biomass Plastic  Tableware

Manufacturers

Importers

Biomass Plastic Containers

Manufacturers

Importers

Biomass Plastic Container Products

Manufacturers

Importers

Remarks: ◎ To be followed in accordance with the law.


4.4 Management of the Vendors

 

In order to facilitate the public recycle articles and containers, EPA has successively made public announcements regarding enterprises who shall install resource recycling facilities since 1997. At the moment, there are 14 categories of vendors who shall provide recycling services, including hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience chain stores, retail chains of cleaning and cosmetic products, convenience stores in transport terminals and stations, gas stations, packaged beverage vendors at gas station, wireless communication device retailers, photographic equipment retailers, beverage vendor machines, beverage chain stores, fast food chain restaurants, light source vendors, and electronic and electric appliance vendors.

 

Vendor Categories, Regulated Recyclable Waste, and Resource Recycling Facilities

Vendor Categories

Regulated Recyclable Waste

Resource Recycling Facilities

Hypermarkets

Waste containers, waste dry batteries

Recycling point signage, waste container recycling bins, waste battery recycling bins

Supermarkets

Convenience Chain Stores

Retail Chains of Cleaning and Cosmetic Products

Convenience Stores in Transport Terminals and Stations

Gas Stations

Waste lubricant containers

Recycling point signage, waste lubricant recycling bins,

Packaged Beverage Vendors at Gas Station

Waste containers

Recycling point signage, waste container recycling bins

Wireless Communication Device Retailers

Waste dry batteries

Recycling point signage, waste battery recycling bins

Photographic Equipment Retailers

Waste dry batteries

Beverage Chain Stores

Waste disposable drink cups

Recycling point signage, waste disposable drink cup recycling bins

Beverage Vendor Machines

Waste containers

Recycling point signage, waste container recycling bins

Fast Food Chain Restaurants

Resource waste (at least include cups, bowls, trays, plates, lunch boxes, lunch box partitions and shopping paper bags, or some other recyclable resource wastes recognized by fast food chain

Recycling bins

Light Source Vendors

Waste light sources

Waste light source recycling facilities

Electronic and Electric Appliance Vendors

Waste electronic and electric appliances (televisions, refigerators, washing machines, air-conditioners and heaters)

Recycling point signage

 


 

Recycling Point Signage

Waste Container Recycling Bins

Dry Battery Recycling Bins

 

According to Article 20 of the Waste Disposal Act, the competent authority shall dispatch personnel or commissioned professionals to responsible enterprises for field audit. The audit key points are recycling point signage, resource recycling facilities and specifications, storage of recycled goods and recycling and clearance status. In case responsible enterprises are against related regulations, a fine between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000 shall be imposed; if the violation continues after the end of the designated time period, then continuous daily fines shall be imposed.

 

 


4.5 Management of Recycling and Disposal Enterprises

 

Recycling and disposal enterprises are the backbone of the 4-in-1 recycling program. In order to have resources effectively recycled and recirculated, and to fully bring the vigorous energy of the private sector into play, EPA has stipulated the registration, reporting and audit systems, introduced the audit and certification system, established the foundation of environmental management and pollution control for enterprises, and provided technical consultancy and financial support to build up a complete recycling and disposal industry.

1. Registration of the Enterprise Size is a Must
The regulated recyclable waste disposal industry and the waste vehicle recycling and dismantling industry shall both be registered. The recycling enterprises of regulated recyclable waste shall also be registered if the area of recycling and storage exceeds 1,000 square meters.

2. Registration
Recycling and disposal enterprises that require a registration shall prepare documents stated in the Management Regulations Governing Recycling and Disposal Enterprises for Regulated Recyclable Waste and submit the on-line registration application to the competent authority before the operation. The registration validity is 5 years; in case responsible enterprises wish to continue the operation, it is a must to extend their registrations.

3. Reporting the Operating Records
Every January, April, July and October, recycling and disposal enterprises who have obtained the registration certificate shall, based on the Management Regulations Governing Recycling and Disposal Enterprises for Regulated Recyclable Waste, report their operating records to local environmental protection institutions online before the 15th of that month.

4. Complying with Methods and Facilities Standards for the Recycling, Storage, Clearance and Disposal of Waste
Registered or not, responsible enterprises shall comply with Methods and Facilities Standards for the Recycling, Storage, Clearance and Disposal of Regulated Recyclable Waste. If the recycling and disposal enterprise is against relevant regulations, a fine between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000 shall be imposed.

5. Accepting Competent Authority¡¦s Audit
Recycling and disposal enterprises must accept the audit of the competent authority to ensure all the processes correspond to Methods and Facilities Standards for the Recycling, Storage, Clearance and Disposal of Regulated Recyclabe Waste.

6. Application of Becoming a Subsidized Organization
Recycling and disposal enterprises who wish to apply recycling subsidy shall, in accordance with the Management Regulations for the Review of Applications for Regulated Recyclable Waste Recycling, Clearance, and Disposal Subsidies, prepare the relevant document and data to apply for becoming a subsidized organization.

The recycling volume of regulated recyclable waste of subsidized organizations shall be audited and certified by the EPA commissioned audit and certification groups in accordance with the Regulated Recyclable Waste Audit and Certification Regulations first, then the recycling, clearance and disposal subsidy will be issued by EPA accordingly.

 


4.6 Audit and Certification, and Supervision Relevant Operations of Audit and Certification Groups

 

A.         The Purpose of Audit and Certification

In March 1997, in order to assure the correctness of recycling and disposal volume, EPA established the Audit and Certification Justice Group Selection Committee to select audit and certification justice groups (hereinafter referred to as ¡§audit and certification groups¡¨) to handle the audit and certification work. After the evaluation, the audit and certification groups shall provide an audit and certification operation manual to EPA, and, upon receipt of EPA¡¦s approval, implement audit and certification operations in accordance with regulations stated on the manual.

On the amendment of Waste Disposal Act published on 24 December, 2001, Article 18 Paragraph 2 authorized EPA to stipulate regulations governing the audit and certification operations. On the 9 October, 2002, EPA announced the Regulations Governing the Regulated Recyclable Waste Audit and Certification Operations, which defined the content of audit and certification work, and the authority and responsibility of audit and certification groups. Since then, EPA formulates the audit and certification operation manual.

To ensure audit and certification groups follow the instructions stated in the operation manual, EPA established the Audit and Certification Supervisory Committee to audit and evaluate the operation of audit and certification groups, where the evaluation result will also be taken into account of EPA¡¦s selection of these audit and certification groups.

 

B.          Audit and Certification Operations

The audit and certification operations are the audit and operation work implemented by audit and certification groups in subsidized organizations. It includes the quantity audit, accounting audit, operating audit and environmental audit to ensure the correctness of issued subsidy and lower the audit and certification operation risks:

 

1.       Quantity Audit: To inspect the recycling and disposal volume of regulated recyclable waste or the output volume of renewable resources that can be applied for the recycling, clearance and disposal subsidy.

2.       Accounting Audit:

(1)   Subsidized organizations shall have at least one accounting audit every half year. The audit content includes operating procedures, staff organization, operation content, audit key points, operation schedule and predicted benefits etc.

(2)   The accounting audit report content shall include at least the audit results of subsidized organizations¡¦ inventory, certificate and account book.

3.       Operating Audit:

(1)    Audit of the recycling, dismantling, sorting, sample analysis, waste storage and clearance operations.

(2)    Based on a waste¡¦s category, inspecting its recycling, storage, clearance and disposal methods, and facilities standards.

4.      Environment Audit:

(1)   An environmental audit of subsidized organizations.

(2)   Audits of subsidized organizations¡¦ labor safety and sanitation.

 

Others: Management of different types of certificates, performance reports, audit and certification analysis reports, and amendments of audit and certification manual.

 

C.          Audit and Certification Groups Supervision Operations

To supervise audit and certification groups to ensure they have properly implemented the audit and certification work and to ensure their work quality is in accordance with regulations stated in Article 18 of the Waste Disposal Act, EPA shall also establish an Audit and Certification Groups Supervisory Committee to evaluate and assess the audit and certification groups in accordance with regulations stated in Article 4 of the Regulated Recyclable Waste Audit and Certification Regulations. The fifteen supervising commissioners, who come from the society, scholars, specialists and representatives of government agencies in the domains of environmental protection or consumer protection, are selected and hired by EPA. The tenure of the commissioners is two years.

Supervising commissioners shall implement the supervision of audit and evaluation work in accordance with the stipulated supervising project. The supervising methods include evaluations and random audits.

Deficiencies identified by the supervisory committee during the evaluation process shall be forwarded to audit and certification groups to fill out the improvement of deficiencies. The improvement status of previously mentioned deficiencies shall also be forwarded to the Fund Management Board to confirm its completion status. Moreover, the evaluation score made by supervisory commissioners shall also be included in the performance report of audit and evaluation as a reference data for audit and certification groups.

 

4.7 The Implementation Methods and Subsidies of Enforcement Authority

 

A.     Waste Sorting Methods

The public shall sort wastes in three categories: Resource waste, food waste and general waste. Descriptions are shown below:

1.    Resource Waste: Refers to general waste recycling items mentioned in Article 5 Paragraph 6 of the Waste Disposal Act, and regulated recyclable articles or their packaging and containers that become general wastes after consumption or use as stated in Article 15 Paragraph 2 of the Waste Disposal Act. It includes papers, metals, aluminums, glass, plastics (excluding plastic bags) (Polyethylene terephthalate , PET; Polyethylene, PE; Polyvinyl chloride, PVC; Polypropylene, PP; Polystyrene, PS), dry batteries, motor vehicles (including automobiles and motorcycles), tires, lead-acid batteries, electronic and electric appliances (televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, air-conditioners and heaters, electric fans), IT equipments (computers and accessories), waste light sources (fluorescent tubes, circular fluorescent lamps, self-ballast fluorescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps, incandescent bulbs with a diameter of more than 2.6cm and high intensity discharge, HID), disks, portable phones and its chargers (including charging dock and portable charger).

2.    Food Waste: Refers to raw or cooked foodstuffs and their residues or organic waste , which have been announced by the competent authority as a general waste.

3.    General Waste: Refers to general waste other than ¡§resource waste¡¨ and ¡§food waste¡¨, which cannot be recycled.

 

B.      The Resource Recycling Day

EPA had proactively promoted the ¡§Keep Trash Off the Ground¡¨ policy in the mid-1990s and, since 1996, started to promote the Resource Recycling Day. Apart from cooperating with the EPA policies, county or city enforcement authorities also promote regional recycling policies. For example, Taipei City started to promote the waste sorting and collection activity since 1991, where cleaning teams collect incombustible waste on Monday and combustible waste on other day . The weekly ¡§3 resource recycling days¡¨ activity was then promoted in 2000 and the weekly recycling days were increased to 5 days in 2003. In the meantime, local competent authorities attempted to decrease waste trucks¡¦ clearing and transporting days step by step in order to lower the waste clearance volume.

 

C.      Subsidy Focus

With an expectation of protecting environment and sustainably using resources, EPA has subsidized local competent authorities to promote resource recycling work such as the ¡§Resource Recycling Project¡¨ that subsidizes general administrative costs; ¡§Replacing the Old Recycling Trucks Project¡¨ that local government can eliminate the old recycling trucks with new ones; the ¡§Employment Promotion Project¡¨ that assists local government to have sufficient recycling manpower in order to maintain the operation of an entire recycling system.

 


4.8 Educational Propagation

 

Spreading the idea of recycling through the whole country will be held in three ways: appropriate activities, timely media and excellent education. The Resource Recycling Fund Management strives to inculcate the idea of the valuable of the work of recycling in Taiwan in the ways outlined below.

 

A.         Types of Propagation Activities

1.           National Green Creativity Expo

2.           Resource Recycling Rap Show

3.           National Resource Recycling Writing Contest

4.           Resource Recycling Debate Contest

5.           National Green Representation Design Contest

6.           National Green Creativity Series Competitions for Resource Recycling

7.           Collection of Resource Recycling Theme Songs

 

B.          Dissemination Media

1.           Resource recycling hotline (0800-085-717)

2.           Resource recycling website (http://recycle.epa.gov.tw)

3.           Resource recycling monthly periodical

4.           E-News

5.           Video

6.           Direct Messages

7.           Television, network and broadcasting media

 

C.          Resource Recycling Education for Schools and Communities

Since 1998, EPA has proactively promoted waste reduction and resource recycling work by offering subsidies and rewards, or relying on the strengths from private sectors such as Tzu Chi, Homemakers United Foundation and Conservation Mothers Foundation to expand recycling channels in communities and schools. Up to the end of December 2014, there were 5,893 communities and 3,650 schools which had participated in resource recycling. The installations of resource recycling facilities in public places such as national parks, scenic areas and important transportation points were also promoted.

 

Also, through recycling organizations established through community level initiatives, the concept of sorting household waste was spread widely, so that bottles, cans, containers, papers and batteries are now separated from other household wastes and sorted in different categories. These recyclable materials separated from general waste are then collected at recycling points or by cleaning teams and private recycling enterprises separately. By recycling and reusing these resources effectively, the government has managed to enhance people¡¦s knowledge and awareness of resource recycling.