Nara garbage collectors told to shutter makeshift workout room

Staff had outfitted a space with dumbbells and barbells as a part of a makeshift workout room

Gym equipment inside the space to use as a makeshift workout room in Nara City
Gym equipment inside the space to use as a makeshift workout room in Nara City (Mainichi Shimbun)

NARA (TR) – When a worker at a waste disposal center in Nara City was arrested for stealing cans, officials set up an office there to thoroughly inspect the site. That was when they discovered a suspicious section of its parking lot walled off by plywood.

As it turns out, staff had set up an array of gym equipment inside the space to use as a makeshift workout room, complete with air conditioning.

City officials said workers at the Kankyo Kiyomi waste disposal center were ordered to dispose of the equipment within the month, based on grounds that the parking lot was “not meant to be used in such a way,” the Mainichi Shimbun reports (July 12).

A worker at the center said: “We got permission from the section boss about 10 years ago, so we built it using our own money. We were using it outside work hours to build up our muscles so we don’t injure our bodies when we’re out collecting garbage.”

City officials said the makeshift training room sits on the fourth floor of the five-story parking lot with a capacity of some 350 vehicles.

Workers glued together materials like plywood to form the roughly 90-square-meter space which was decked out with various gym equipment, dumbbells, barbells and even air conditioning. Kyodo reported it also featured a refrigerator.

A worker at the center was arrested in May for stealing recyclable waste like aluminum cans, which prompted city officials to establish a response headquarters at the facility. The makeshift room was discovered during an inspection.

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