Saturday, May 30, 2009

Charlie and The Maishima Incineration Factory

May 30,2009

October 11, 2008

In the fall, we made a reservation to visit the amazing Maishima Incineration Plant in Osaka. It looks like it could be modeled after the factory from Charlie and the Chocolate factory.

It was built when Osaka was putting in a bid to host the 2008 Olympics. Maishima is a man-made island. It's made from layers of dirt and burnt trash generated from the incineration plant. Osaka is building another nearby island in the same way.

The plant was designed by world-renowned painter, sculptor and architecht, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, from Vienna. You can see similarly designed buildings around the world.

Yumi is our awesome Japanese teacher, enthusiastic
tour guide and wonderful friend. Yumi pressed the doorbell and at that point, I was acturally expecting to see Charlie.

The wavy yellow lines are suppose to reference fire. The architect had the trees from the original site replanted and added new trees, so there are more than 16,000 trees in and around the plant.

In addition, the plant creates electricity that is used in Osaka.

These balls are gilded in gold and are each worth about $4,000 dollars.

Inside, the hallway is wavy too.

The above cute mascot spoke to us in Japanese to tell us about the plant. The plant can incinerate up to 900 tons of garbage a day.

Pictured above, the trash bin is 44 meters deep.

The claw holds 7 tons of garbage. The claw picks up trash from the bin and dumps it into the incinerator. The picture on the right shows the guy using a joy stick to control the claw. Yep, the many hours of video games I've played over the years may be useful!

His job is to watch the incinerator on live TV all day and night.

It must be the cleanest, most beautifully designed, most interesting, most high-tech and most fun incineration plant in the world. The place is super clean and the most unbelievable part, IT DOESN'T SMELL! That's because, no air escapes from the incineration area.

Utility and function can indeed work hand-in-hand with creativity and art.

Contact Information: The plant is open every day except Sundays and national holidays. The free tour lasts about 90 minutes and is in Japanese. Reservations for the tour are required. Reservations can be made by telephone or fax, but must be received at least one week before the visit. Phone: 06-6630-3121 Fax: 06-6630-3580

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