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Illegal dumping on rise at Awase Fishing Port

Date Posted: 2009-03-27

An increased budget to curb illegal dumping at Okinawa City’s Awase Fishing Port hasn’t helped, as officials report the amount of junk being dumped at the Awase Fishing Port is increasing.

The Okinawa Prefecture had increased the budget, but Hiroshi Ikeda, chairman of the Okinawa City Fishermen’s Cooperative, says “Since 2001 the big TV’s and household garbage are increasing again, because the price of steel and aluminum has gone down.” The signs are posted, he says, that say not to dump garbage, but Ikeda says people are making nighttime visits to the port and continuing to dump junk.

Officials are finding everything from household garbage to cars, golf bags, toys and clothes being dumped. The Okinawa City Fishermen’s Cooperative has been patrolling and cleaning the area, but is having little luck thwarting the dumpers. “It was cleaned up before because the Prefecture and Okinawa City had supported the cleaning, and before, the iron and aluminum junk was expensive so scrapped cars were fewer,” says Ikeda. “Now, scrapped cars are increasing again.” Okinawa City is trying to create a budget that would provide funding for a fence and gates to surround the area, and to hire a security guard. They’re also considering installing surveillance cameras, but nothing’s been done yet because of budget constraints.

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