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Solving problems

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Re: Solving problems

Postby meyers66 » 04 Nov 2015, 10:27

Hello, I agree with GC Rider. More people need to practice the 4R's.
But what about the topic "solving problems"? This thread focus has shifted to the litter problem. So I'm signing off from this.
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Re: Solving problems

Postby headhonchoII » 04 Nov 2015, 11:45

Meyer, it's something I used to think about a lot. Why people
a) couldn't seem to see the problem in front of them
b) didn't care about the problem
c) didn't discuss the problem
d) had a fatalistic attitude that the problem was insolvable

These are tough questions to deal with but

a) Building awareness is key (grass roots probably works best in Taiwan through families and housewives to build consensus and pressure)
b) Side-affect of awareness, with awareness, people start to be concerned
c) A difficult one in Taiwan where many spend most of their time working or sleeping, but social media is a good option
d) The MOST difficult thing to change - 'I the individual have the power to effect change' This is something that is NOT encouraged in Confucian and Taiwanese/Asian societies. It's also quite a risky pursuit. It's also quite difficult for foreigners as there may xenophoibc kick-back from society here (probably not a major issue) as well as legal restrictions (a bigger threat).
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Re: Solving problems

Postby RickRooney » 04 Nov 2015, 12:03

GC Rider wrote:
RickRooney wrote:Its mad. Ive never noticed any problems with trash in the other countrys I have been in but here its just a mess. Ibhave seen overflowing bins on some occasions too. I don't know why you would even bother to try to put trash in a bin thats already full.. anyway there are numerous ways to deal with it but I don't really see it changing. Most people seem ok with this dysfunctional trash system. For me the best i can hope for is to move to a somewhat new apartment in the future where the security guard can take out my trash.


The solution to the garbage problem must be to avoid creating unnecessary garbage in the first place. That's a lesson not only the Taiwanese must learn first. Same applies to everyone else on this planet because the problem of too much garbage is just as bad in the West, if not worse. It's just not always as apparent as it is here. Moving to a modern apartment complex where trash is being taken care of by other people will only make life easier for a few people, but the underlying problem is still there. It's actually the same kind of "out of sight, out of mind" mentality that we're accusing the locals of.

Here's an easy way to help remind yourself to avoid garbage. It's called the "4Rs" rule: Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle

We should all use it.

(BTW, I heard about the "4Rs" first from locals in the Society of Wilderness. I've seen firsthand that there are indeed many Taiwanese who care a lot about environmental issues and are doing something about it, but more people need to get involved.)


I have no problems with recycling. what I was complaining about was having no public bins and the trash pick up system. you say it will make life easier for a few people but everyone should have this privilege to have the people who are paid to pick up your trash, actually come and do it for you. the fact that there is a way around it is good for me but I don't think the locals actually mind delivering their trash, I am pretty much in the minority here. my neighbors enjoy waiting around and chatting, they even do it if they only have a small bag of trash. as for me I have better things to do than waste my time doing that.
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Re: Solving problems

Postby spaint » 04 Nov 2015, 12:33

RickRooney wrote:Its mad. Ive never noticed any problems with trash in the other countrys I have been in but here its just a mess.


Go to the UK, get off the road and walk around the countryside, especially near smaller villages. You'll find trash everywhere - the problem is not just fly tipping but also all the local thugs who wander off down to the river with a plastic carrier bag full of booze and then toss it all in the reeds when they're done. The problem is people.

I'm not sure you can actually force people to be clean; there'll always be an element that doesn't give a shit and actively enjoys fucking it up for everyone. At that point you need to consider solutions closer to the source. I'd start by reducing the amount of plastic waste that everything seems to generate (of the 3Rs - not including Repair - the most effective is to Reduce - they're in order). Plastic is the absolute worst: it doesn't rot, it doesn't rust, it doesn't erode, and it doesn't go away. Ever. It just gets smaller and smaller. Go to a beach - any beach, almost anywhere in the world - if you want proof of plastic being a scourge on the planet.
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Re: Solving problems

Postby headhonchoII » 04 Nov 2015, 12:41

Yep plastic is a massive problem for the environment, from large pieces to microplastic in the ocean and fresh water. Look into the problem and you will be horrified how it is literally everywhere!

When I was growing up we used to have plastic bag trees lining the sides of country lanes (where the bags caught on the trees along the roadside :( ). Well about 10 years ago the government instituted a charge on the bags and it worked wonders in reducing this problem. You still get fly tipping but its at a very much reduced volume compared to the bad old days, heavy fines and more vigilance and environmental awareness have all helped.

So when I first came to Taiwan , while not happy at seeing litter along nature trails and fly tipping in the mountains, I understood the problem already. I am also confident things will improve overtime, and have been improving in places, just a bit SLOW. For instance beaches on the North coast have slowly but steadily been improving over the last decade. When I first visited some of them I was absolutely appalled that the beaches were trash receptacles. While some beaches are still bad, some are now popular leisure areas.

So the trend is probably positive in terms of the culture of dealing with trash, rbut it's a slow slow process and may have to wait until the recalcitrants (mainly the older generation according my personal impression but not only limited to them) die off.
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Re: Solving problems

Postby RickRooney » 04 Nov 2015, 13:33

spaint wrote:
RickRooney wrote:Its mad. Ive never noticed any problems with trash in the other countrys I have been in but here its just a mess.


Go to the UK, get off the road and walk around the countryside, especially near smaller villages. You'll find trash everywhere - the problem is not just fly tipping but also all the local thugs who wander off down to the river with a plastic carrier bag full of booze and then toss it all in the reeds when they're done. The problem is people.

I'm not sure you can actually force people to be clean; there'll always be an element that doesn't give a shit and actively enjoys fucking it up for everyone. At that point you need to consider solutions closer to the source. I'd start by reducing the amount of plastic waste that everything seems to generate (of the 3Rs - not including Repair - the most effective is to Reduce - they're in order). Plastic is the absolute worst: it doesn't rot, it doesn't rust, it doesn't erode, and it doesn't go away. Ever. It just gets smaller and smaller. Go to a beach - any beach, almost anywhere in the world - if you want proof of plastic being a scourge on the planet.


I was talking more not having public bins and the stupid trash pick up system. Littering is obviously still a problem I was just making the common sense point that if you have public bins you will have less littering. I don't think any of these problems are really on the radar though..
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Re: Solving problems

Postby meyers66 » 01 Jan 2016, 20:29

1. I support public trash cans and people using them but the problem is a bit deeper here. Who is going to empty them? And more important, who is going to pay the person to empty them? Taiwanese don't want to pay for this. They also don't want one near their property.
2. Could someone show me an example of Taiwanese Government or the public, or a group, having an environmental problem, discussing it, and solving it? Any example will do. I was totally surprised Indonesia confiscated business licenses this month according to the BBC. Then I watched this: Indonesia throws out case against company over illegal burning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP4e7P1InF0
My feeling is you can't discuss a problem in Taiwan. There is no way to do it without violence. That's why foreigners can't discuss politics at universities. So everyone focuses on relationship and hides their thoughts and feelings.
A Taiwanese friend thinks there is no hope to complain. E.g. the Mr. Wei / Ding Shing/ Toxic Oil fiasco.
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Re: Solving problems

Postby headhonchoII » 01 Jan 2016, 20:42

I think Taiwans streets , pavements and parks are quite litter free. The worse places for litter tend to be some countryside areas or places where fishermen congregate in my experience. I don't think litter boxes will solve that problem as much as strict anti litter enforcement through education and heavy fining of litterers.
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Re: Solving problems

Postby RickRooney » 01 Jan 2016, 23:46

Public bins wont eliminate littering sure, but it will help. Its a basic convinance that should come with living in a developed country, I know nobody cares, least of all taiwanese but it gets on my nerves.
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Re: Solving problems

Postby hsinhai78 » 02 Jan 2016, 00:23

RickRooney wrote:Public bins wont eliminate littering sure, but it will help. Its a basic convinance that should come with living in a developed country, I know nobody cares, least of all taiwanese but it gets on my nerves.


There used to be litter bins everywhere in Taipei. Quite a few Taiwanese couldn't be bothered paying for garbage collection and instead dumped their household waste in these bins. Hence they had to be removed. Like many things in Taiwan, a sizeable group of selfish assholes will abuse public resources and make it suck for the rest of the people. I would not consider anyone a real victim though, as the vast majority of people will be part of some of the many problems on this island. Harsh fines and strict enforcement is what people understand, just look at the MRT.
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