Cities, counties in Taiwan clean up rivers, beaches on Earth Day

(Photo courtesy of Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation)

(Photo courtesy of Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation)

Taipei, April 22, Braving damp and cold weather conditions, people in cities and counties around Taiwan held clean-up activities on Earth Day on Saturday.

In Taipei, 1,000 people helped clean up a stretch of seven kilometers along the Keelung River, collecting 207.3 kilograms of waste.

About 33.4 kilograms, or 16 percent, of the waste was recyclable, including 9.8 kilograms of PET bottles.

In Hsinchu, 2,000 people from the city government, businesses and civic groups took part in a beach clean-up activity, and they collected 3,500 kilograms of waste and 1,000 kilograms of recyclable materials.

The Hsinchu City government said during the clean-up that it recorded the different categories of waste collected and figured out their sources based on statistical analysis, hoping to use the information as a reference to improve the situation in the future.

The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, the largest charity group in Taiwan, mobilized 1,000 members in Yilan, Hualien, Taitung, Taoyuan, Yunlin, Tainan and other cities and counties to take part in cleaning beaches.

On the outlying Penghu County, more than 1,500 people took part in beach cleaning activities despite strong winds, and collected a total of 35,000 kilograms of waste drifting on the sea in just two hours.

Chiayi Country Magistrate Chang Hwa-kuan (張花冠) led about 500 people to clean up a beach near the high-heel shaped "church" in Budai.

PC vendor Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) mobilized its staff to take part in a river clean-up in Taipei, while the ASE Group (日月光) had its staff take part in clean-ups in a fish harbor in Taoyuan in northern Taiwan and Cijin beach in Kaohsiung simultaneously.