Taiwan city launches new cash-for-poop initiative

no dumping.pngThe environmental committee of the city of Taichung, Taiwan is trying something different to clean up its streets — it's offering $3 in shopping vouchers per kilogram of dog poop collected. From the city council's web site:
By means of offering rewards, the bureau hopes to goad the public into spontaneous clean-up efforts that protect the environment.
The problem in Taiwan isn't that dog owners don't pick up poop — it's more an issue of strays, where pet owners get bored of their dogs and leave them on the streets. The poop initiative seems like an odd, half-assed initiative given the greater issue of animal negligence on the island (180,000 strays among a population of 23 million people, according to Reuters), but I suppose it's better than nothing. Fetch! City pays for dog poo


  1. So, what’s to stop any dog owner from just collecting at home? Or any other area other than the ones they’re looking to keep clean?

  2. I’d have thought cleaning up poo is *bad* for the environment… Poo provides all sorts of vital nutrients to the plants that grow there. If you wanted to help the environment, they should be encouraging *more* poo.

  3. But how do they tell it’s dog poop, really? I wonder how common it will become for people short on cash/dignity to use their own rear-mounted torso ATMs?

    Also, that’s 128 humans per feral dog. But how many humans per human willing to gather dog poop? Is this going to turn the homeless into street cleaners in the same way bottle and can deposits do? How do we feel about that?

  4. Poo does not provide any vital nutrients to the sidewalks, train platforms, etc. There it is just a steaming pile of smelly bacteria and a genuine public health issue.

    On a side note, a kilo seems like a lot of poop – blech!

  5. Shouldn’t that be “Taiwanese City” in the headline? It’s a perfectly good adjective; there’s no need to avoid it.

    1. If you were talking about Los Angeles, would you say “California city” or “Californian city”? What about Chicago – “Illinoisan city”? I think not. “Taiwan city” is better.

      1. But consider the same usage, doesn’t Canadian city, Swedish city, sound better than Canada city, Sweden city? Taiwan after all, is a country.

  6. When I used to live in Taiwan I was always fascinated by the totally out-of-control stray dog situation. For example, the 180,000 stray doggie figure only refers to the dogs in the human city areas. The population in the various jungles and mountains is probably far greater than that. Some estimates go so far as to say that the dogs outnumber the people; although I think that’s taking it a bit too far. Still, when we finally kill ourselves off Taiwan is definitely going to be the cradle of the Doggie Dominion to follow us.

    The two things that most struck me were that the wild packs are mostly heterogeneous with over a dozen different pure breeds in each and that the urban strays are mostly three legged.

    The first is because the unwanted dogs from the pet stores haven’t had time to breed towards a Dingo Dog or whatever it is that dog breeds eventually breed into. I was wandering around the edges of Hsin-Chu with a friend once and found a little Pug puppy stuck in a ditch. My friend admonished me for rescuing it saying that it might have rabies but I replied that: one, Taiwan is an island without rabies; and two, fairy-tale logic dictates that we must rescue all struggling cute strays in order to avoid being killed by their relatives. Sure enough, Pugsley ran around the corner to a pack consisting of Collies, a German Sheppard, Poodles and various Spaniels. I remain convinced to this day that only Pugsley’s gratitude saved us from being eaten then and there.

    The three legged dogs are a quasi-evolutionary effect of the island’s geography. Taiwan is a spine of rock jutting out of the ocean. The humans live on the rare spots that are relatively flat and on alluvial deposits on the west coast. Most of the rest is at an incline of at least 60-degrees or more. Dogs are much happier running around the mountains (probably eating the unwanted bunnies that people have also dumped out into the wild) but if you break a leg you can’t handle the inclines or hunt very well any more. So you have to move into the flat city where you don’t have to hunt so much if you live off of human cast-offs. If you break more than one leg you can’t make it into the city.

  7. Dwasifar: A more accurate analogy would be, if you were talking about Los Angeles, would you say “America city” or “American City”?

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