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Order to Close Waste Disposal Company Causes Trouble

Date Posted: 2000-03-05

A court order forcing the largest industrial waste disposal company to close its operations for 60 days is wreaking havoc among its clients who have always relied on the service. The owner of the company was arrested recently after it was discovered that he had exported a shipload of industrial waste to the Philippines without proper documentation.

There are only four companies in Okinawa that handle industrial and hazardous waste. With Minami Shokai forced to cease operations for two months, the other three companies have announced that they will not be able to accept waste from any new customers as they expect their landfills to become full in two to three years. “This is very difficult problem as area residents oppose accepting waste from outside their own area,” a manager of one trash and waste handling company said.

Okinawa Prefecture has plans to construct a new waste disposal facility, as a joint venture with a private firm, that would handle industrial and hazardous waste. The problem is that most of Okinawan municipalities took a stance of “not on my back yard.” Nishihara Town finally accepted the prefecture’s plan and the new facility will open for business in 2004.

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