The inhabitants of a southwestern Japanese village have developed a method for recycling that results in almost zero-waste production.
The village of Kamikatsu is located approximately 430 miles away from the bustling Japanese capital, Tokyo. The inhabitants of this small village have devised a way of significantly reducing landfill waste by separating items into categories and even sub-categories; steel cans and aluminium cans, for example, can not be commingled.
Altogether, the inhabitants of Kamikatsu must separate their waste into 34 different bins; and the British think they have it tough with three council bins!
The villagers take their organised waste to the local recycling centre, where it is double-checked by the workers. There is now a zero-tolerance approach to the incineration of waste in the village, since it is responsible for producing vast amounts of greenhouse gases which are damaging for the environment.
Any unwanted clothing and furniture is taken to a local shop, where the villagers can exchange their unwanted items for other goods that have been left behind. There is even a factory in the village, where local woman produce goods from recycled materials.
All of these efforts result in a recycle rate of 80 per cent, while the remaining 20 per cent goes to landfill sites. The village hopes to be 100 per cent zero-waste by 2020.
The director of a Bedfordshire wood recycling company has appeared in Luton Crown Court on behalf of his company after it breached the conditions of its permit.
The company, which was based in Ampthill before its liquidation in 2013, was found to be in breach of its permit by the Environment Agency after they discovered that the company was operating a regulated waste centre at its premises in Hertfordshire without holding the necessary permits.
The company’s permit was suspended in 2013 by the Environment Agency after they received complaints that a fire at the company’s premises in Potters Crouch, Hertfordshire, had been burning for a week. The fire, which started in November of 2011, caused considerable disruption to residents in the area.
The Environment Agency was concerned that waste at the recycling site involved “a risk of serious pollution”,and that “smoke from a fire at the site could [have] cause[d] a risk of serious harm to human health.”
The waste company is now facing a number of charges at Luton Crown Court and is also being prosecuted by Central Bedfordshire Council for breaching the Town and Country Planning Act of 1990 by storing materials at its premises above three metres high. The trial continues.
A skip hire company has called on the government to reimburse flood effected councils their landfill tax payments in the midst of the major clean-up operations which are being carried out throughout the UK.
More than 16,000 homes were flooded in December as the UK suffered one of the wettest Decembers yet recorded in British history. Northern England and Scotland were the most effected areas, with Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Cumbria, Dumfries, and Kinross bearing the brunt of the nasty weather.
Now that the big clean-up is underway and families and businesses must dispose of ruined furniture, white goods and electrical items, which, under government regulations, are now considered hazardous waste and must be taken to landfill rather than recycled.
Tractors and trailers in Carlisle, Cumbria, have collected more than 1,050 tonnes of waste from households and businesses. This waste has been taken to temporary tipping grounds, including a car park, until the councils have assessed the damage and decided upon the best solution for the disposal of so much hazardous waste.
At the present time, councils in England must pay £82.60 landfill tax per tonne of waste, but, considering the nature of this emergency, there have been numerous calls for the government to “ … consider all reasonable means of supporting local authority areas which have been affected by the floods”