Trash in Taiwan

If you don’t live in a swanky apartment complex that does your garbage for you, then you might find yourself racing home from work/the bar/a date at the most awkward time just to throw your rubbish in the truck whilst being judged by and simultaneously judging all your neighbours for the small size of their recycling bag or their oversized and unsorted garbage (judge first, lest the first stone hit you in the eye (paraphrased)).

Well – there’s an app for that! For those of you in Taipei it’s the one below:

Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.admin.claire.garbag_truck&hl=zh_TW

Most other cities now have similar apps though.

When you get into the app, you’ll see the schedule on the front page, with which recyclables are taken which days and which days they don’t take garbage:

So, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday they take recyclable stuff that is not flat (clean plastic bottles, glass bottles and containers, and small domestic appliances).

Monday and Friday they take paper, old clothes and clean plastic bags.

Sunday and Wednesday: no service.

Although the rules are as above, certain places seem to take all kinds of recyclables on all days, but you might risk getting shouted at by the bin man.

The most useful part of the app, however, is the search functions at the bottom:

With the middle option (垃圾車清運點) you can search for drop off points individually (by street name/li/area), and the second option (清運點地圖) allows you to search by your current GPS location. This is handy if your rubbish route always comes at awkward times, so you can search for alternatives a block or two away, which might be more of a walk, but worth it if you don’t want to have to come home at 9pm on a Saturday:

You can enter a street name like 「廈門街」 or with the GPS locator, you can get several options near you:

Then just click on the different trucks to suss out which collection points are at which time:

There is also a web version here, but it’s not quite as easy to use:

Basically, just type your street name in the 「或道路關鍵字」 box, and click 「查詢」, but this only shows the specific collection point you clicked, so you’re still better off with the app’s GPS option:

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