Status of Disaster Waste Countermeasure Execution and a Survey of Public Awareness in Japan
To grasp the status and awareness of disaster waste preparation in municipal governments and community, we distributed questionnaires to the officials of municipal waste management departments in 61 of the main designated cities in Japan and 5,200 residents in Japan. From our questionnaire on disaster waste, disaster prevention, and environmental measures, we were able to understand the awareness of municipal governments and residents concerning disaster waste. Whether the municipal governments or the residents, despite them both having awareness of the importance of disaster waste countermeasures, we found it to be lower than awareness regarding life as evacuees and other aspects of disasters. In particular, there was a trend for municipal governments to communicate with residents regarding disaster waste after a disaster. Therefore, it seems necessary to enlighten and inform municipal governments on the need for pre-disaster preparation. As for residents, only 40% of them participate in resident associations, and the participation rate for community-based disaster prevention education and training is at 25%. As local disaster prevention activities are critical, more study on how various organizations can conduct them is required. Especially from the view of disaster waste, approaches from both waste reduction (i.e., environmental) education and disaster prevention are possible, while picking out and sharing examples of good practices hereafter is a must.
This research was financially supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (3K163009: Misuzu Asari) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.
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