"Do we have to tear this down?", said Sugioka.
Liew didn't say anything, but his expression was rather telling, giving him that "please-not-that-again, -we-went-through-this-already" sort of look as he looked away momentarily from the large bamboo forest in question. Behind him were several old people from the neighborhood, watching their move.
Next day, when Sugioka went out for a checkout mission with his partner, the sky was filled with the usual dull colored but fast moving clouds, with strange flashes of light blinking here and there. The expression, "the color of a TV tuned to a dead channel" came to his mind, which was a familiar expression from a classic. Although such an expression was a pure anachronism in this age of digital TV.
This was the usual state of sky these days. It hardly ever clears up. No one really knows why for sure. Some say it's the ozone layer. Freon was banned decades ago, but major ozone holes were observed in the northern hemisphere recently. Maybe freon wasn't the problem, and it's all just a part of a larger atmospheric movement? That seems to be the larger consensus now. Or was it the remaining freons still acting as a catalyst? That's another consensus. But what ever the reason, clouds are increasing world wide. Cooler summers and worse harvests are the norm now.
Still, Antarctic ice is decreasing, and sea level is rising. COP3 agreement in Kyoto at the end of last century is working so-so well, CO2 emission trade is working rather spectacularly. On the other hand, the earth temperature is decreasing save for the heat island cities.
No one really has an answer for this, either. No definitive ones, at least. But for Sugioka, rising sea level means that he could make more use out of existing garbage reclamation, which was a relief.
"Just a matter of time anyway, though," he muttered. Under that sky is the last section of the P Project, which is the so-called dumpster project. Beyond is the former "Off-The-Main-Breakwater" Garbage Disposal from 30 years ago, which was supposed to be developed but used only as a refugee camp. Strange area.
"This will only last a year or two, and garbage export is really expensive these days," says Liew.
"But capacity-wise, China and Russia will be able to handle it for, say, another 5 years. There's still time."
"Political instability, international consideration, can't really depend on it, could we?" Of course, of course. But more than anything, Liew just doesn't like the idea of garbage export to his home country. That's all. Sugioka is well aware of it.
Future Disposal Plans: a. Export <--problems with the host cntrs, international consid. b. Inland landfills? No grounds, lower the restrictions? Or Landscaping < Case:"Gyoutoku Fuji," Copenhagen etc.
So here they are at this so-called "Gyoytoku Fuji" for the third time or so. A case study. It's rare that children are seen here, usually several aged people are all that they see. This is an illegal dumping ground that was formed near the end of last century. The excavated soil from construction grounds, mixed with various industrial wastes, grew into this huge mountain right in the middle of a residential district. It's an extremely odd sight. There was a huge legal battle between the local government and the firm suing each other, but it led to nowhere, the firm went bankrupt and that was it. After a couple of decade, the residents became familiar with it, and doesn't even notice it anymore. Most of the residents themselves are new comers, and they don't know what it was like when this "Fuji" wasn't here. Last time, Sugioka came here in the morning, when an elderly lady started to talk about "the old days", and how this mound gets to her nerves, but that's rare. Nothing grows much on this mound except some grass, maybe it is something in the soil, but who knows. Now, this mound belongs to the local government, and it is used as an open space with some sorry excuse of a landscaping. Sugioka interviewed the landscape architect who did this. "To preserve the memory of the industry by making it visible among people's everyday life," she said. Yeah, yeah, talk about being nimby. And now, people (including himself) are trying to use this scheme as a garbage dump. She'll probably say something like "the memory of garbage among the people." Memorize this, he thought, as he kicked a PET bottle on the ground.
Well, but it IS a way to do it, you know, he thought. Maybe that's the ONLY way. Live WITH your garbage. Live AMONG your trash. Sugioka suddenly noticed several packs of old people on the mid slope of this mound, restlessly.
"Hey, clear skies. Haven't seen these in a while," said Liew.
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