Renewable Matter # 27 / May-June

Circular Japan

by Silvia Zamboni

Dossier Japan


With 81% of waste sent for recycling or reuse, and a separate waste collection featuring 45 different types of refuse, Kamikatsu, a small Japanese town, is working towards generating zero waste. In fact, the whole of Japan aspires to become a society based on the circular use of materials in order to reduce consumption of natural resources and alleviate environmental pressure.


Kamikatsu, a rural municipality with 1,500 inhabitants located on the wooded island of Shikoku in the Japanese archipelago, performs a record household separate waste collection with 45 different types of waste. No dumpsters along the streets and only the odd waste collection vehicle seen around elderly people’s homes. Indeed, residents themselves take newspapers, plastic...

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