New Taipei City: New Taipei to offer gold for crap

Collectors of the dog feces that blight many city streets are to have the opportunity to exchange their dirt for gold, New Taipei City government officials said Tuesday.

From Aug. 1, those who bring dog droppings they have collected to New Taipei sanitation units will be given a raffle ticket, Chen Chao-mint, an official of the city's environmental protection department, told CNA in a telephone interview.

The ticket will give them an opportunity to win gold ingots of various weights, with their values ranging from NT$12,000 (US$416) to more than NT$60,000, he said.

"We believe this innovative measure will raise people's awareness of the problem," Chen said.

"Through the raffle, we expect the public to pay closer attention to environmental sanitation and play a more active role in keeping their surroundings clean," he added.

The results of the lucky draw will be announced in October.

Since dog droppings left lying on the streets has become a major concern for city residents, the local government has been urging dog owners to clean up their pets' waste when walking them.

Offering gold is not the only measure the city government will adopt Aug. 1 to tackle the problem.

It will also encourage local residents to form teams to patrol their neighborhoods and educate people on the importance of cleaning up their dogs' waste.

It will also reward those who make videos or take photos to report people who deliberately leave their pets' excrement on the streets.

Offenders will face fines of between NT$1,200 and NT$6,000, half of which will be used as a reward for the informant, Chen said.