20210112 Landfill fires blamed on overcapacity, flaws
Taiwan Jan 22 2021 “Other”
Dead : dead 0 or unknown Burnout : 0 or unknown Injured : injured 0 or unknown
Landfill fires blamed on overcapacity, flaws
A review of 20 landfills and recycling depots in Yunlin County found that overcapacity and faulty construction were to blame for landfill fires, the Yunlin County Environmental Protection Bureau said on Tuesday.
Every landfill and depot is operating beyond capacity, as well as storing waste of excessive mass and height, the bureau said in a news release.
The bureau launched its inspection last year after multiple fires occurred at landfills and recycling depots in Douliou (斗六), Linnei (林內) and Lunbei (崙背) townships.
Multiple facilities have failed to maintain a topsoil layer of adequate thickness, are missing methane pipes or have damaged waterproof covers or retaining walls, it said.
The facilities must use security cameras to prevent arson, create firebreaks between stocks of recyclable materials, provide basins to help with immediate fire response and erect more signage against smoking and open flames, the bureau said.
As the nation’s waste incineration capacity is overtaxed, the county is packaging garbage for storage until it can be processed, the bureau said.
Improving landfill and recycling depot fire safety is urgently needed, and the county has asked the central government for a NT$9.8 million (US$344,258) subsidy to address the issue, the bureau said.
Meanwhile, the Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Bureau said it has fined Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corp NT$2.04 million over a fire at its wastewater processing facility in the Linyuan Industrial Park (林園工業區) that left two employees hospitalized with burns.
One of its inspectors happened to be in the area at the time of the fire and decided to investigate after seeing black smoke rising from the site, the Kaohsiung bureau said in a statement.
The fire was due to human error or errors that ignited the oils in the factory’s separation pool, it said.
Using portable direct-reading instruments, the inspector determined that the fire had released toxic burned styrene, which is why the company was fined under Article 32 of the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法), the Kaohsiung bureau said.
However, air quality readings in the Linyuan area following the fire were yellow, or normal, which showed the fire had not hurt local air quality, it added.
Web Source: Taipei Times