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Garbage collectors in eastern Japan city get over 100 support messages amid pandemic

Messages for garbage collectors are displayed on a board at Maebashi City Hall on May 15, 2020. (Mainichi/Atsuko Suzuki)

MAEBASHI -- The local government of this eastern Japan city on May 15 revealed that dump sites in the city have received more than 100 messages to support and thank garbage collectors amid the novel coronavirus pandemic since late April.

"Amid such difficulties caused by corona, thank you very much," one message read. Another stated, "Please be careful not to be infected." There was also a message with colorful illustrations and another thought to have been written by a child.

The amount of garbage dumped in the city increased during the long "Golden Week" holiday period, apparently as many people staying at home amid the outbreak chose to clean their homes. Some 206 metric tons of non-burnable garbage was collected in the city over four days during the Golden Week holidays this year -- 3.5 times the corresponding figure for the same period in 2019.

Bulky waste reached about 89 tons -- an increase of 1.6 times -- while burnable garbage stood at about 1,953 tons -- a 0.6% decrease. Overall, the three kinds of waste in the city totaled about 2,248 tons, representing an 8% increase.

The Maebashi Municipal Government has been calling on people to tie their garbage bags tightly after pushing air out of them to prevent them from bursting during collection.

(Japanese original by Atsuko Suzuki, Maebashi Bureau)

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