By Benjamin Cost
The Taiwanese are clearly fed up with the scourge of dog crap that has until now rendered the streets of New Taipei City virtually un-walkable. To combat the odorous problem, the government is granting citizens the opportunity to collect and exchange sacks of crap for lottery tickets, one ticket per “doggy bag.” Like any other lottery, each ticket enters into a raffle, but in this rare case, the drawn ticket-holder can win a bar of gold worth Taiwan $60,000 or around $2,000 USD. Literally turning shit into gold!
Over 4,000 residents have already slipped their tickets into the hat and collectively amassed at least 14,000 bags of canine excrement (enough to fill the stockings of all Taipei’s naughty children come Christmas time). And last week they finally chose a lucky winner, a woman who received her gold prize last week. As an encouragement to others’ valiant poop-scooping, the city also awarded runners-up lesser sums of gold and even household items.
And the “dog poop lottery” is naturally paying dividends for the city. Since this unconventional street-scouring method was implemented, New Taipei City has managed to halve the amount of poo littering its paths. Taipei officials are counting on the competition to foster a greater sense of community hygiene among its people in the long run.
We feel that the “dog poop lottery” would be the perfect move for Shanghai’s own poop-strewn streets. But we could certainly do this for cheaper if they’d just cooked up some special one-of-a-kind commemorative coins and raffled those off instead.