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End of holidays brings hard work to trash disposers

Date Posted: 2004-01-09

The Christmas and New Year holidays are posing some challenges to those who deal with the remnants of gift giving. It is a Japanese custom the clean the house from all old unnecessary items just before the New Year. Oseibo gift wrappings and festive food packages add another half to the mountain of trash that the holiday produces.

At the same time all trash disposal facilities in cities, towns and villages were closed until January 5. And that meant people working at collecting and disposing of trash had their work cut for them. According to officials at Kurahama Environmental Facility, which handles all trash from Ginowan and Okinawa Cities and also Chatan Town, they handle currently an average of 320 tons of trash per day. Thatís twice the average.

Lines of trash trucks at the facility in Haebaru that handles trash from both Haebaru Town and Naha City created a serious traffic jam in surrounding areas. One solution several municipalities in Okinawa are resorting to are small composting machines that are rented for a small fee, or outright given to individual households that turn most of the common household garbage into compost. The municipalities or their contractors then collect the compost, which is sold to mainland companies that turn it into organic fertilizer.

Some officials see the composting machines as a solution to the ever worsening garbage disposal problem on the island, where most landfills will be filled within next couple of years. They say that in order to avoid an environmental disaster, all means possible should be used to get people to used the composters.

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