July 8, 2008 / 4:08 AM / 9 years ago

Flush so we don't blush, Taiwan city says

2 Min Read

<p>Toilets stand as an artistic display by Nada Sehnaoui, in an empty lot in downtown Beirut April 13, 2008.Jamal Saidi</p>

TAIPEI (Reuters) - A city in south Taiwan began training potty users this week to flush toilet paper instead of throwing it in the trash, to reduce 340 tonnes of stinky waste generated daily, local media and officials said on Tuesday.

"An old habit is to throw toilet paper in the trash can beside the toilet, which causes a major stink that's bad for public sanitation," city Environmental Protection Bureau Director Chang Hwang-jen told Reuters.

"Japanese and Western visitors who come to Taiwan find this Taiwan toilet habit to be quite poor," she added.

Taiwan's plumbing can now handle toilet paper without clogging the pipes, a break from the past, the city of Tainan told its 764,000 citizens at a news conference on Monday.

Leaders in other Taiwan cities haven't gotten off the pot on the issue, Chang said.

Toilet sitters in Taiwan and China customarily target trash bins instead of the porcelain because of pipe backup worries. Clogged pipes in Tainan are caused by the flushing of other objects, such as toothbrushes, Chang said.

Sticking non-recyclable toilet paper in the trash also costs the city T$4,600 ($151) per tonne, or T$600 million per year, to treat, local media said.

Reporting by Ralph Jennings; Editing by Bill Tarrant

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