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Opposition mounts to waste treatment plant

Date Posted: 2008-12-25

A new waste treatment plant scheduled to come on line in Okinawa City is drawing furor from residents who continue to argue the plant is unsafe for their children and want it stopped.

Kurashiki Environmental Group Environmental Solution is to activate the new incinerator in the near future, but residents of the Noborikawa, Ikehara and Chibana areas are vehemently opposed, telling the city “we have spent over 10 years already with industrial waste, and if this new machine comes to the area, our children and grandchildren could be hurt” by it. Residents met this week to tell Okinawa City’s mayor they don’t want the plant as it would damage tourism, agriculture and public facilities in the area.

Mayor Mitsuko Tomon says “local area life, the environment, agriculture and tourism business could be influenced by a waste treatment plant”. She reassured the residents “I’m asking the prefecture to stop placing the waste disposal treatment plants in central and northern Okinawa.” She says the plants “should be fair to everybody,” and promised to keep “the struggle going to protect the environment.”

Residents applauded the mayor’s stance. One said “we must make our voice a big voice, otherwise nobody will listen.” Another said she’d “never thought this problem was so important for us,” and now says she “wants everybody to understand us.”

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