Unlawful dumping of home appliances targeted by a recent recycling law marked a year-on-year rise during April and May in about 53 percent of the 272 municipalities who had comparable figures from the previous year, according to an Environment Ministry survey released Thursday.

The report shows 6,138 air conditioners, television sets, refrigerators and washing machines were abandoned in these cities, towns and villages, up from 4,555 units for the same period a year ago.

Figures for April, when the law took effect, showed a bigger jump — more than 50 percent — than those for May, during which the number of illegally dumped appliances rose a more modest 18 percent year-on-year.

Of the 2,237 municipalities covered in the ministry survey, 272 had illegal dumping figures for the previous year.

Roughly 53 percent of those saw a rise in abandoned home appliances this year, while about 29 percent saw no change and approximately 18 percent saw a drop.

But very few of the local governments saw a change in either direction of more than 10 units. Ministry officials said the data is preliminary and it is too early to draw any conclusions regarding the relationship between dumping and the new law. They said it is a positive factor that, despite the overall rise, less appliances were abandoned in May than in April in 1,847 municipalities.

Due to confusion spawned by local legislation covering fees charged for the collection of large garbage in the city of Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, the number of appliances abandoned there jumped by 479.

The city of Soka, Saitama Prefecture, reported a rise of 139 units illegally dumped, many of them in the garbage collection areas of apartment complexes.

Three-quarters of the municipalities surveyed said they have enlisted patrols and 59 percent said they were launching public relation campaigns to prevent illegal dumping.

Stations and areas with garbage collection facilities, as well as privately owned rural property and roadside land, were the most common dumping grounds, the survey shows.

The ministry will continue to conduct regular surveys of local governments to determine whether illegal dumping of the four types of appliances has risen or fallen since the new law took effect.

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