Nishihara tire pile to be finally removed

A mountain of about 110,000 waste tires in Nishihara that have been a nuisance and target of local residents’ complaints because they are a breeding ground for mosquitoes will be finally removed after the prefecture made a contract with a junkyard in Sunabe to remove and dispose of them.

Dream Corporation, Inc., an industrial waste treatment company in Nishihara that owns the pile did not follow a business improvement order from the prefecture, and left the tires on its yard for a long time. Finally, the Okinawa Prefecture Environmental Waste Management Division started administrative procedures to get the tires removed, and contracted the Miyagi Junkyard of Sunabe to do the job that the Dream Corporation had failed to do. “The tires have to be removed immediately as they hinder living environment maintenance,” the subrogation order states.

This marks the first time Okinawa Prefecture has used an subrogation order to enforce the Waste Disposal Law.

The tires in the pile are estimated to weigh about 800 tons. Miyagi Junk Yard commenced the removal work on Apr. 21st. Miyagi estimates that it will remove about three tons per day of the tires on average, removing about 500 tons total by Dec. 28. The cost of the removal is expected to be about ¥25 million, and the prefecture will charge all of it to Dream Corporation, Inc. as soon as the job is complete.

The removed tires will be shredded to chips and sold to a paper factory in Nichinan City, Miyazaki Prefecture.

According to Okinawa Prefecture, Dream Corporation, Inc. obtained permission for industrial waste disposal business in 2003. The company used to gather waste tires and shred them to chips that can be used as alternative fuel for heating. The plans was to sell the chips to companies in China, but the business soured because of fluctuations in the crude oil price, and the tires started piling up on the company yard.

A few years ago, a huge outbreak of mosquitoes was reported in the area because of rainwater collecting in the tires, resulting in many complains from nearby companies and residents to Okinawa Prefecture.

A man who is working at another industrial waste disposal company near the Dream Corporation lot said, “I am extremely worried about the tire mountain tumbling down, and especially afraid about fire occurring.”