Internation Experts Mission to the Tohoku Region


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In collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), UNEP's International Environmental Technology Centre and Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch organized an international mission to the Japanese region of Tohuku to exchange experience on managing post-disaster debris. The mission visited Tohuku from 27 February to 2 March 2012.

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  • A lot of waste produced in whole of east Japan, especially, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. The amount of the volume are 4.8 million tons in Iwate, 16 million tons in Miyagi and 2.3 million tons in Fukushima. The total amounts reached 29 million tons. This volume means it takes 25 years based on general treatment of wastes by incineration and landfill. The volume of disaster waste is 6 million tons and this volume is larger than the whole of Iwate prefecture. As the capacity for incineration and other methods of handling the waste varies between the different local governments this value varies greatly. For example, Miyagi prefecture has announced that their waste will be handled in 23 years, but Sendai city announced 3 years, and Ishinomaki city announced 106 years respectively.
  • Planning of Sendai city for the treatment of disaster wastes of one million tons and tsunami deposit of 1.3 million tons shows here. At first, waste was separated and classified to 13 categories such as plastic, bulky garbage as combustible and incombustible, wood, metal, concrete and asphalt, wall clay tile, gypsum board, electric appliances, waste vehicle and tsunami deposit. These wastes carry to temporary storage site thorough separation, environmental safety, and countermeasure. Finally, aim of the recycle ratio is over 60% at least.
  • In this way, wood, sludge, electric appliances such as TV sets refrigerator, air conditioner , and metal, waste oil, waste vehicles etc. were separated. wood was separated for recycle and combustion.
  • Internation Experts Mission to the Tohoku Region

    1. 1. International Expert Mission to Japan on Disaster Debris Management Muralee Thummarukudy Chief, Disaster Risk Reduction United Nations Environment Programme
    2. 2. Background• UNEP has been communicating with the Government of Japan since the tsunami event in March• In May 2011, UNEP joined an international expert mission to tsunami hit areas arranged by the Asian Disaster Reduction Center• In Q4, 2011, UNEP was requested by MoFA to organise an international expert mission to Tohoku region to study the management of disaster debris
    3. 3. Mission objectives• Observe the disaster debris management in Japan and learn lessons which may be applied in other countries• Facilitate experience exchange from other disaster situations
    4. 4. Mission teamRonnie Crossland, US EPA, (Organisation and management)Thorste Kallnischkies, Germany, (Landfill operations)David Smith, UK, (Hazardous wastes and asbestos)Mike Cowing, St Lucia, (Waste recycling)Yves Barthelemy, France, (Waste estimation)Mario Burger, Switzerland, (Monitoring)Prof Toshiaki Yoshioka, Tohoku University, (Member, National Task Force)Surya Chandak, UNEP, International Environmental Tech Centre, (Waste to Energy Projects)Muralee Thummarukudy, UNEP, Disasters and Conflicts Sub-programme, (Team leader)Experience in Hurricane Katrina, Rita, China earthquake, SE Asia tsunami, earthquake in Haiti,Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, oil spills + other emergencies
    5. 5. Mission itinerary• Day 1 – Sendai• Day 2 – Miyako and Ofonato• Day 3 – Ichinomaki• Day 4 – Soma City• Day 6 – Tokyo Waste Management Facilities
    6. 6. Mission activities• Gather basic information and maps• Visit city officials, discuss their challenges and progress• Visit the waste management facilities• Exchange experiences• Document them in videos, pictures, GPS• Final output – video and report
    7. 7. Exclusions• Fukushima reactor + exclusion zone• Debris which got washed off into the sea during the tsunami
    8. 8. Key observations• The challenge faced by Japan is massive and unprecedented• This will be the most expensive disaster debris management project ever, costing over ten billion dollars, overtaking Hurricane Katrina (USD 4 billion)• This is done under very restrictive conditions (limitations of landfilling and transport)
    9. 9. Amount of disaster waste at October 18, 2011 Amount of Amount of Amount of Local wastes Local Pref. Pref. Local government dwastes Pref. wastes government government (tons) (tons) (tons) Hirono 15,000 Sendai 1,352,000 Iwaki 880,000 Kuji 96,000 Ishinomaki 6,163,000 Souma 217,000 Noda 140,000 Shiogama 251,000 Minami-souma 640,000 Fudai 19,000 Kesen-numa 1,367,000 Shinchi 167,000 Tanohata 86,000 Natori 636,000 Hirono 25,000 Iwaizumi 42,000 Tagajyo 550,000 Naraha 58,000 Miyako 751,000 Iwanuma 520,000 Tomioka 49,000 Yamada 399,000 Higashi-Matsushima 1,657,000 Ohkuma 37,000Iwate Miyagi Fukushima Ohtsuchi 709,000 Watari 1,267,000 Futaba 60,000 Kamaishi 762,000 Yamamoto 533,000 Namie 147,000 Ohfunato 752,000 Matsushima 43,000 Rikuzen-Takata 1,016,000 Shichigahama 333,000 Rifu 15,000 Onagawa 444,000 Minami-Sanriku 56,000 Total 4,755,000 Total 15,691,000 Total 2,280,000 Aomori 0.8 million t, Ibaraki 0.46 million t, Chiba 0.13 million t Total: 29 million tons
    10. 10. Key observations• The Central government has given clear technical direction and financial package to deal with the disaster debris in a time-bound manner (MoE Directive, May 2011)• The local municipalities are implementing them, with support of prefectures, in a rapid and systematic manner• Cities which had prior contingency plans were able to move forward faster
    11. 11. Key observations• Tsunamis typically mix up all types of debris into one mass• The collection of disaster debris from the original location and primary sorting is almost over• Secondary sorting and final disposal is ongoing
    12. 12. Planning for the Disaster Waste Treatment Disaster waste 1.35 million tons Public Treatment   1.03 million tons Burnable 310,000 t Non-burnable 720,000 t Private Tsunami Cars Facilities sedimentPlastic, Paper Wood Metal Bulky Concrete, asphalt Kawara, 10,000t 74,000 t waste 608,000 t Plaster B 310,000 t 1.30mil. t 240,000 t 19,000t 34,000 t 58,000 t Temporary Storage Sites Store Temporary Storage (図)処理フロー Crush Crush Incineration ( Public (Temporary 12,000 t 514,000 t 128,000 t ) Built ) 265,000 t 37,000 t Landfill Landfill Treatment Recycle Recycled by will be done Recycling ( Public Facility ) ( Private private by each (if able) Facility ) companies 151,000 t 545,000 t facility 12 187,000 t
    13. 13. Gamo Storage Site for Disaster Wastes 蒲生搬入場平面図 Plastic, Paper and Tatami 木くず Concrete, Bricks  S=1:3000 木くず Wood for recycling Sediment 大型車両Cars  置 場 普通車両 普通車両 小型車両  置 場  置 場 廃車置場 木くず置場  置 場 木くず置場 廃車置場 廃油 Waste oil Incinerator Cars 廃車置場 廃車置場 廃車置場 木くず 木くず Wood for combustion 廃車置場 がれき破砕ヤード 破砕機 木くず Concrete, Bricks 木くず がれき Debris from Tsunami がれき 木くず選別ヤード ト ンメ ロ ル がれき その他 冷蔵庫 Debris from Tsunami TV 洗濯機 エアコン 農機具 木くず 燃えるごみ Refrigerators Washing machines その他 Air conditioners Tv Metal 13
    14. 14. Key observations• Very high degree of mechanisation, from sorting to treatment• Local employment is promoted but additional employment generation is limited
    15. 15. Key observations• When possible, use of local facilities - such as cement plant - to treat disaster waste has been attempted• Cars and white goods have not yet been processed
    16. 16. Key observations• Speed at which new facilities are being set up, such as sorting incineration and desalinization, is impressive• The biggest incinerator in Japan is being set up in Ichinomaki and will be operational within next 6 months• Typically these take many years in other countries
    17. 17. Key observations• Quantity of raw timber is massive• The concrete foundations of buildings have not yet been removed• Quantity of hazardous substances was somewhat limited compared to disaster situations elsewhere
    18. 18. Observations• Some waste is not amenable to easy management, such as fishing nets• Some waste still needs to be dug up from the ports
    19. 19. Key observations• Monitoring of environmental conditions is ongoing at all locations• Results are made publicly available often within hours of monitoring• Health and safety management in the facilities are of a high standard• No reported fatality relating to health and safety in the field
    20. 20. Lessons for other situations• Having a contingency plan enables cities to initiate the disaster debris management quickly, thereby speeding up overall recovery• Clear instructions from central government (or agency) at an early stage will facilitate standardisation of approaches• Without liberal financial support and technical back-up, local municipalities will not be able to cope with such disasters
    21. 21. Lessons, continued.. • Sorting of the debris to a reasonable number of categories enables maximising recycling, the earlier it is done, the better • All options, including land reclamation, should be attempted on an opportunistic basis • Where possible, local opportunities for waste-to-energy should be evaluated • Good health and safety should not be neglected even during emergency situations
    22. 22. Lessons, continued..• Environmental monitoring should be integral part of the projects• Documentation and communication of the process and results are important
    23. 23. Lessons, from elsewhereapplicable in Japan• No options, including landfilling, should be discounted at the earliest stage• Local variations should be promoted from the national guidelines so long as it suits local environmental conditions• Monitoring is best done by an independent academic/research agency rather than the contractor or government
    24. 24. Lessons from elsewhere applicable in Japan• There should be continued effort to coordinate between the municipalities and prefectures so that good practices can be shared• Continued involvement of national experts to technically backstop the local authorities will ensure more optimal outcomes locally
    25. 25. Follow-up actions• A UNEP report on Japan’s disaster debris management• A video documentary• Website content, ongoing outreach to share findings• UNEP to establish an international network of experts on disaster waste management• Disaster debris estimation methodology to be fine tuned