National

Japanese waste disposal plants in areas rocked by Typhoon Hagibis overwhelmed by debris

JIJI

The waste disposal capacities of municipalities hit by Typhoon Hagibis in mid-October are nearing their limits, causing a fresh problem in the afflicted areas in the aftermath of the storm.

The amount of waste from the typhoon, including bedding and furniture, has been large, and garbage incineration plants in some areas were damaged by flooding during the 19th named storm of the season, and it is unclear when they will be back into operation.

On Monday, the flooded Nagano Environmental Energy Center in the city of Nagano stopped accepting disaster waste. The amount temporarily stored at a facility on its premises is at 98 percent of capacity.

The center can handle up to 405 tons of waste a day, but the average daily amount brought there stood at 567 tons between Oct. 15, days after Hagibis tore through the area, and Oct. 26. It remains to be seen when the center will be able to begin accepting waste again even if it operates around the clock, officials said, noting the difficulties with incinerating wet and muddy waste.

In Fukushima Prefecture, where 61 temporary waste storage facilities are scattered among 22 municipalities, large amounts of waste still remain on the streets in heavily hit areas, keeping local government officials and Self-Defense Forces personnel busy with collection.

One of the two waste disposal facilities in Koriyama went out of order after being flooded, and it is not known when it will restart. The other facility, which was suspended to undergo checkups, resumed full operations on Oct. 24 but remains occupied with regular household waste and has yet to start handling disaster waste.

The Koriyama Municipal Government is asking five other municipalities in the prefecture for cooperation. But a Koriyama official said none would likely be able to help the city, noting that the amount of waste is far beyond capacity.

In the flooded town of Marumori in neighboring Miyagi Prefecture, some temporary waste storage facilities have become full.

Since Tuesday, the town government has been checking identifications or requesting licenses to prevent residents of other municipalities from bringing their waste to facilities in the town.

“We can’t help but take the measure, as there is no room left in our temporary storage facilities,” a Marumori official said.

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