The Japanese town that has nearly zero waste

Recycling bins Japan

Here in the UK our recycling consists of separating paper from plastics, glass from metals and in some places food waste however this is nothing compared to the residents of Kamikatsu in Japan.

In 2003 they embarked on a zero-waste program. The city used to incinerate their rubbish but then realised how bad this was for the environment. The residents now sort their rubbish into 34 separate categories such as aluminium cans, steel cans, paper cartons and paper leaflets. It did however take time for them to adjust to the new regime of washing, sorting and taking rubbish to the towns sorting centre. Something which is now routine.

Kamikatsu also have a shop where people can leave clothing or furniture they don’t want, exchanging their old stuff for free items that others have dropped off.

Now 80% of the town’s rubbish is recycled, reused, or composted, with the rest going to a landfill. And by 2020, Kamikatsu hopes to be completely zero-waste.

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