[GRRN] Taiwan Bistro is a WTE Plant Too!

Sat, 25 Dec 1999 12:29:05 EST

I guess Santa won't be going down their chimney! Ho Ho Ho.

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Taiwan Bistro Above Garbage Dump

.c The Associated Press


TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - Hsia Chao-lin's restaurant is not a dump. It's just
above one.

The bistro is built around a smoke stack at Taiwan's biggest garbage
incinerator. So when the posh eatery opens on Jan. 1, diners will be able
to nibble on steamed crab and sip shark's fin soup, while more than 1,800
tons of paper, plastic and other trash goes up in flames 396 feet below.

``You're at an incinerator but you don't have any sense of that when
you're here,'' said Hsia, a 25-year veteran of the restaurant business
who has named the new establishment ``Tsaihsinglou,'' meaning

The restaurant in this Taipei suburb is believed to be the only eatery in
the world built above the flue of a garbage incinerator, an effort by
plant manager Eric Chu to put to rest outdated fears about garbage

``We want people to understand that we're not a source of waste, we're
just cleaning up their mess,'' he said.

Although a steady stream of garbage trucks rumble by, there's no stench
outside the restaurant or in its marble waterfall-adorned lobby at the
base of the smokestack. Nor can diners see the garbage.

Visitors ride up a shiny glass elevator to a plush donut-shaped dining
area - which rotates 360 degrees each hour. Diners view rice and
vegetable fields, the Tamsui River, nearby Taipei, and mountainous
Yangmingshan National Park.

Chu said diners are safe from dioxin or other products of burning garbage
because emissions are carried far off on the consistently strong wind. He
said his next plan is to build a heated swimming pool and recreation
center next to the incinerator.

The restaurant has already received rave reviews from Susan Bromm, part
of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency team that toured the site this

``People need to understand that waste is a fact of life and this is a
structure that provides a beautiful view of the city,'' Bromm said.

Hsia said he had doubts about the eatery at first.

``My main concern was the smell and hygiene,'' he said, ``and that's the
response I hear when I tell guests at my other restaurants about it:
'What about the smell

AP-NY-12-25-99 1215EST

Copyright 1999 The Associated Press.