• Kyodo


As quake-hit areas in Kumamoto Prefecture work to dispose of debris, residents in the city of Kumamoto are complaining that the costs of discarding electric appliances are not covered by the city, while other municipalities are shouldering the burden.

Some Kumamoto residents just dump their electric appliances, causing a headache for the municipal government.

Under the Home Appliance Recycle Law, those who want to dispose of four electric appliances, including air conditioners, television sets, washing machines and refrigerators, must pay to have them collected and recycled.

The town of Mashiki and the village of Minamiaso, hardest hit by the massive earthquakes in April, has been bearing the costs to reduce the burden on residents. But in the city of Kumamoto, where more than 10,000 homes were completely or partly destroyed, people are asked to recycle broken appliances on their own, considering the fiscal burdens and the limits to temporary collection space.

Some Kumamoto residents claimed it is unfair for municipalities to offer different measures, and started discarding their electric appliances with other debris.

Several hundred TV sets are piled up in temporary debris storage sites in the city of Kumamoto, and city officials say they can’t help but accept them.

The central government plans to bear half of the costs of recycling electric appliances in the disater-hit region, but the Environment Ministry said it will let each municipality decide whether to shoulder the residents’ costs.

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