Does Taipei have a trash problem? You bet! There are simply not enough trash cans in Taipei. And why you ask? Well apathy is one reason. The other reason is that the public just does not want to reduce their waste profile.
Just take a look at this overflowing trash can at SYS Memorial Hall. One thing you will notice is the fast food trash. Notice how people have been so nice as to pile their trash on the top of the can as well. It looks almost artistic.
One of the biggest problems with the trash system in Taipei is the use of cans that only have openings on the sides and not the top. There are reasons for this too. It limits the absolute amount of trash that can be put in the receptacle and it prevents the cans from flooding in heavy rainfall.
It would seem that there are two solutions. Either have more trash pickup times or get people to reduce their trash profile. I'm for the later.
C'mon Taipei! Stop buying all that ghastly junk you buy for your kids and let's try to get rid of these kinds of eyesores!
By the way, Taipei's concerns may seem insignificant when compared to China's. On a visit to Shanghai in the winter, I found out that spitting, a public passtime in China, had been banned. This didn't stop people from wanting to spit though. They sought the nearest side opening trash can to spit in. The winter that I visited, most people did not want to use the garbage receptacles as the openings were pasted with yellow, red and green icicles where comrades had missed with their spitting. Yuck!
Taipei too does have the odd betelnut chewer who likes to leave his mark on the street, sidewalk, wall or even trash can as well... Get better aim if you do!