Wednesday, April 11, 2012

City in Tochigi Wants Disaster Debris, So It Can Upgrade Disposal Site on the Government Money

Kanuma City, located just west of Utsunomiya City (prefectural capital of Tochigi), wants to help people in the disaster-affected Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures by accepting the ashes resulting from the burning of the disaster debris elsewhere.

If you read the news by Shimotsuke Shinbun (local Tochigi newspaper), it seems the city is correctly seeing the wide-area disposal of the small amount of disaster debris (less than 20% of total) as an excellent opportunity to have the national government foot the bill for upgrading the waste management facilities and doing the badly needed deferred maintenance.

By no means Kanuma is unique among the cities who have expressed eagerness to accept disaster debris over the concerns of the local residents and residents downwind/downstream.

To the city's request for financial support, the Ministry of the Environment said "yes".

From Shimotsuke Shinbun (4/12/2012):


Kanuma City has expressed interest in accepting the ashes from burning the disaster debris in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures that was generated by the March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami. The mayor of the city Shin Sato and his men visited the Ministry of the Environment on April 11 and requested the financial assistance from the national government for testing radioactive materials on the debris and repair the facilities at its final disposal site [where the ashes will be buried]. They were met by Satoshi Takayama, Parliamentary Secretary of the Environment [No.3 position]. According to the city, [Takayama] answered that the national government would pay for the additional cost incurred by more rigorous testing.


"Kanuma Phoenix" (Iso-machi, Kanuma City), the city's final disposal landfill for regular [non-industrial] waste where the ashes are to be buried, started operation 19 years ago in 1993. The facilities have deteriorated, and equipments break down often.


The city plans to increase the number of testing for radioactive materials and the number of locations to be tested on the landfill, and it estimates the cost to be 35 million yen [US$433K]. It also estimates the repair cost for the retaining walls and pumps at the landfill at 22 million yen [US$272K].

The total budget of Kanuma City for the fiscal 2011 was 39.7 billion yen (US$490 million). As with many cities in Japan, Kanuma City's tax revenue covers less than 40% of the city's spending. Upgrading and repairing the disposal site is part of the discretionary spending.

By the way, this is the same city that fed elementary school children with local beef last October as a PR stunt to prove how safe their beef was.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like as good a reason as any to poison the entire northern hemisphere. Gotta take every opportunity we get, right?! Thumbs up, soldier!!

Anonymous said...

No tourists going to Kanuma City for a while then? Don't they realize people will now avoid Japan altogether. This is not smart economically.

Post a Comment