Japanese village produces almost zero-waste

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!

Japanese village recycles 80 per cent of its waste

Japanese village almost zero-waste


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.