Green Snow Shovels, Deployed Within Fukui Prefecture
In 2004, Fukui suffered through torrential rains. The shovels used to clear the mud and dirt resulting from the incident is now used for snow removal, as part of the “Green Shovel Project”. On December 2nd, Fukui Prefecture began installing stations at various places, including traffic intersections, within the prefecture. Until December 7th, at intersections and bus stops within 15 cities and towns, there will be 159 stations, with a total of 388 shovels. Like the years before, the prefecture is asking everyone to volunteer the time used waiting for the traffic light to change, to clear just a little bit of snow along the sidewalk.
When the project began in 2005, there were 32 stations, with a total of 111 shovels. With the project gradually gaining more awareness, requests of more stations were received from various groups, including local neighbourhood councils, the Parent-Teacher Associations, and community centres; and thus, the number of stations continued to increase.
On December 2nd, at various spots within Fukui City’s Ote, 2-Chome, such as intersections, approximately 20 stations were installed.
With the paint on the underside of the shovel wearing off, the iron and aluminum material is also becoming bare.
“We should spray paint this”, a prefectural staff commented with a smirk, but the countless straight scratches are a sign of good will, continuously building up from when it was used by volunteers during Fukui’s torrential rains 15 years ago. According to the Fukui Local Meteorological Office, central Okuetsu is predicted to see snow from the evening of December 3rd.