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Residents oppose plans to burn refuse at Ikehara site

Date Posted: 2007-07-05

The growing mounds of trash at the Industrial Waste Disposal Site in Okinawa City has the owner asking permission to burn it, but area residents are complaining it would only make things worse.

The Ikehara area site has long been a waste facility, but growing heaps of refuse are filling the area to near capacity. The operator wants to upgrade the facility with an incinerator to burn much of the trash, saying “there is no place else to take the trash. It has to be burned to make space for more waste.”

Residents say there’s already an environmental problem here, and burning trash would further pollute the air. “We had a meeting with local residents,” Ikehara Community Association Chairman Isamu Tamaki says, “and they worry their vegetables, fruits and other agricultural products will be further damaged with burning.” Tamaki says, though, “something must be done because we don’t want even that trash making big mountains.”

Citizens complain they’re worried about environmental pollution, and the effects it could have on their children and grandchildren getting sick from the waste.

The Okinawa City Office is studying the situation, and will publish information on incinerator construction soon. The machinery set up, and safety procedures, will be explained, but Ikehara area residents say they are still opposed to the plan.

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