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Waste disposal facility called health hazard

Date Posted: 2004-09-10

A medical waste disposal facility has been operating in Nishihara Town for three years, and now residents are saying “enough is enough”.

The vendor now collecting infectious medical waste for disposal is operating an illegal facility, officials say, and now he’s been told by the Prefecture “if you want to use this land for disposal of medical waste, you have to make paperwork for a new facility. Otherwise, remove it.”

The site was originally approved as a farming location, but the vendor used it as a disposal site in the Tamahara area. He also built an incinerator at nearby Tokusada area. Both sites are certified as farmyards. Neighbors have been complaining about the bad smells, as well as smoke from the incinerator, and they’ve been protesting. “We’ll have our health damaged,” several said in an appeal to the mayor’s office.

The vendor claims he didn’t know. “I didn’t know I can’t use my cow house to dispose of waste. Anyway,” he says, “I have another land in Yomitan and also in Kochinda Town. I would like to take my facilities to the new locations, and continue my business.” He says he was granted approval for disposal of specialized industrial waste in 2001, since he was in business.

Residents, meanwhile, are asking the mayor’s office to investigate. If the facilities aren’t allowed by law, they want them shut down.

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