Tag Archives | Cleanup

Japanese Gangsters Hiring Homeless To Clean Up Fukushima Disaster Area

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Pic: Sean Wilson (PD)

Organized crime controlling construction and waste disposal? That sounds familiar. Crime bosses in Japan are recruiting the nation’s homeless and paying them next to nothing to clean up the deadly remains of the Fukushima disaster.

Japan’s three biggest crime syndicates have established illegal recruitment under construction powerhouse Obayashi, a top contractor. Reuters speaks to one man paid by a gangster to collect potential homeless workers: Seiji Sasa would find men at a local train station and get them work through a number of smaller contractors that eventually reported to Obayashi (which has not been fingered in the scheme). The workers would be paid less than minimum wage after middlemen skimmed some and deductions were taken for food and housing; in other cases, those deductions were taken from their scant pay, leaving the workers with no money, or even in debt.

Keep reading at Newser.

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Tiny Workers Helping To Clean Up Oil Spill

Photo from Heimholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI)

Photo from Heimholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI)

Not only are human workers trying to clean up BP’s oil spill, but bacteria workers are looking at the task as a feast. Alcanivorax bacterium can be found munching on bits of oil, a convenient taste palette to increase the clean up efforts. However, how will the increase of bacteria effect the remaining wildlife?  NY Times has the report:

Among the hidden stars of the gulf cleanup is an oil-hungry bacterium that Dr. Seuss could have named — Alcanivorax. It and fellow microbes are breaking down a significant amount of the oil that gushed into the environment from BP’s runaway well, scientists say. The microbial feasting is known as biodegradation.

On Wednesday, a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said early observations showed that the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill “is biodegrading quickly,” adding that scientists were working to measure how quickly and how much of the escaped oil the microbial hordes could consume.

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