The Bei Tou Incinerator (also spelled as Pei Tou), located in the city of Taipei in Taiwan, is a waste incinerator that burns 1,800 metric tons of garbage generated by the city’s residents each day. The incinerator is also a power plant that can generate a peak electrical energy of 48 megawatts by burning waste - a great example of recycling energy resources. Another unique feature of the facility is that the 150 meters tall chimney is equipped with a revolving restaurant situated at a height of 120 meters and accessible by an elevator. The restaurant is powered by the thermal energy generated by the incinerator itself.
The restaurant named the Star Catcher was built at a cost of USD 250 million and opened for business on January 1, 2000. The incinerator was inaugurated in 1991. To make the air quality safe for the restaurant, the incinerator was fitted with special anti pollution devices.
There is a viewing platform 4 meters below the restaurant that offers panoramic view of the estuary of the Tamshui river and its bird reservation, as well as the distant mountain ranges. You can also see Yangming Shan, Kuan-yin Shan and the whole of the Taipei Basin.
"We want to sweep away people's fears about urban waste disposal," said Eric Chu, manager of the Bei Tou plant. "Here, we are cleaning up the mess which is produced in our daily lives."
At the entrance to the plant, a large display monitor shows the volume of gases and smoke that is being processed into the chimney. Instrument readings help visitors understand the efforts being undertaken at the facility to treat the waste gases. Thanks to strict controls, the dioxin release rate for the Bei Tou incinerator is kept far below the 0.11ng/ Nm3 standard.
There is no stench, disgusting dark smoke or danger from toxic emissions, only a splendid view and fantastic food. People who dine here quickly forget that they are situated above a major metropolitan incinerator. In the near future, a swimming pool and a nursery will be built next to the high-tech incinerator.
View from the restaurant. Photo credit
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