Kamikatsu residents take recycling to the next level

If you thought you were good at recycling you have some competition from the residents of Kamikatsu, Japan. A town that is on its way to becoming the first zero waste town in Japan.


Kamikatsu, located in southwestern Japan, has a population of just 1,700 residents, but this small group of people are doing wonders for the environment. This small town is on a mission to become Japan’s first zero waste town by 2020 and they are well on their way.


We all try to do our part when it comes to recycling, but while most of us divide our waste into broad categories like glass, paper, tin and plastic, the Kamikatsu have a few more. The residents divide their recycling into a massive 34 different categories, including aluminium cans, steel cans, paper cartons, newspapers, cardboard, magazines and paper flyers, to name just a few. PET bottles have their own category, but so do the bottle caps, it’s hard work and the residents weren’t too sure about it when it first started, but it has now just become part of their everyday lives.


Currently the town recycles or composts 80 percent of their waste. With just 20 percent making it to landfills they are close to their goal of that figure being zero by 2020.  


The town also has a shop called ‘Circular’ where residents are encouraged to bring items to trade. As well as a factory where they repurpose unwanted items, like clothes, flags etc. into new clothing or gifts.


This inspiring town truly gives new meaning to recycling and should inspire us all to make the effort.


Watch the video below to see what a future zero waste town looks like and the hard work it involves.


Image via: Andy Arthur; Flickr
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