Taipei ruminating on ban of Mid-Autumn Festival BBQs in riverside parks

Taipei mulling ban on Mid-Autumn Festival BBQs in riverside parks

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(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Taipei City government is considering banning barbecues in riverside parks during the Mid-Autumn Festival as trash has continued to build up in parks and PM 2.5 pollution increases as a result of the practice.

The Hydraulic Engineering Office on its website yesterday said that it would not ban barbecuing in riverside parks this year, but it is planning a review of the practice in consideration of energy conservation, carbon reduction, environmental protection and ecology. As usual, the website listed seven locations in riverside parks where barbecuing and picnicking would be permitted in general, and 12 special locations for the Mid-Autumn Festival until midnight.

The office said that since it began its policy of allowing the public to barbecue in riverside parks, a large amount of garbage has been produced annually, and many people have not been following barbecuing regulations in these parks. During the Mid-Autumn Festival period, both the Hydraulic Engineering Office and the Environmental Protection Bureau have to spend a lot of effort in cleaning and persuading the public to follow regulations, with many cleanup crews having to stay up until 5:30 a.m. every day to clear away refuse after barbecues.

Though it is not originally part of the traditional observations of the Mid-Autumn Festival in East Asia, Taiwanese in recent years have taken to storefronts, sidewalks, parks and riverside parks to roast meat and vegetables on small, portable cooking grills during the festival.

The office said that this year it would not interfere with citizens barbecuing in riverside parks, however due to the carbon monoxide, PM 2.5 and trash generated from these activities, it is planning on reviewing whether to allow this practice in the future. The office said that input from the public will be taken into consideration, including a possible vote on the matter via its online i-Voting system.

The office said that after discussions and a public consensus is reached, a decision will be made on whether to continue public barbecues in Taipei's riverside parks during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Before:


Mobs of people barbecuing at Dajia Riverside Park on Sept. 22. (CNA image)


Throngs of Taiwanese cooking barbecue at a riverside park on Sept. 23. (CNA image)


Couple cooking barbecue. (CNA image)

After:


Trash left behind after barbecue. (Image from Hydraulic Engineering Office)


Crews working to gather trash. (Image from Hydraulic Engineering Office)


Crews working to gather trash. (Image from Hydraulic Engineering Office)


Garbage piled up after barbecue. (Image from Hydraulic Engineering Office)


Garbage left after barbecue. (Image from Hydraulic Engineering Office)