An environmentalist in Yunlin County who makes cushioned footstools for people to buy with used batteries has been robbed five times in six months, he said on Tuesday.
Environmental campaigner Hsieh Wen-ta (謝彣達), 58, who runs a 24-hour self-serve kiosk in Yunlin County, said that people have stolen from the stall five times in the six months since it opened, taking more than 50 footstools and prying open the register on several occasions.
Hsieh has been making footstools and curtains for nearly 30 years, and thought that running a 24-hour kiosk would make it easier for people to recycle their batteries and pick up the products in exchange when he was not available, he said.
Photo: Huang Shu-li, Taipei Times
“Even the batteries that had been recycled and the plastic bins for collecting them were stolen,” he said, asking that thieves leave the kiosk alone.
Hsieh began promoting battery recycling 20 years ago over concerns about the damage discarded batteries do to the environment.
To spur recycling, he used the leftover material he had from making sofas and curtains to make footstools that he could give to people in exchange for their used batteries, he said.
His recycling kiosk, which is next to the county’s Environmental Protection Bureau, is the first of its kind in Taiwan, he added.
“It takes more than an hour to make one stool, but these discarded batteries are destructive to the environment — they must be recycled at all cost,” he said.
Hsieh has also worked with a blood bank, allowing people who donate blood to also buy a footstool using their old batteries.
Over the past 30 years he has recycled about 7 million batteries, and given away nearly 30,000 footstools, he said.
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