To reduce the burning of incense, joss paper, and firecrackers during the Mazu Pilgrimage Procession, the Environmental Protection Bureau of Taichung City Government has since March 2015 held briefings and distributed propaganda posters and banners to the communities, district offices, and temples. People are urged to protect the Earth while worshiping Mazu.
In fact, the EPB cleaning teams have long offered the service to collect joss paper from individual households for centralized burning in the incineration plants whose furnaces have been religiously purified. Such service is especially strengthened during the Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage Procession. Everyone who has the need can simply place a phone call to the clean team and the clean team will do the rest for you.
Although there are rules and laws regulating the setting-off of fireworks and firecrackers and the control of noise, the Environmental Protection Bureau would only urge people to set off less firecrackers within the allowed time slots, because some special religious festivals or folk cultural events are long-established traditions.
EPB Director-general Hung Cheng-chung (洪正中) said, “The traditions have been passed down for generations. It is impossible to change them overnight. Therefore, we must adopt a gradual approach. For example, we can ask people and temples to set off environmentally friendly firecrackers instead of traditional firecrackers. We can explain to them the reason why we need to reduce air and noise pollution. I hope people and temples can join us to protect our environment.”