Creating Zero Waste Communities

This solution addresses high amounts of waste, environmental hazards of incineration and landfills in Kamikatsu, Japan for town residents

  • Kamikatsurecycling

Problem Description

At the turn of the millennium, a town called Kamikatsu in Japan was confronting a waste problem. Most waste to that point had been disposed of using open pit fires. New regulations from the government required to use at the very least an incinerator. This was causing concern from town residents about incineration's negative effects on the local air quality and environment. The town officials looked outward for models of how to handling waste. They focused on communities across the world that had been striving towards generating zero waste. In a bold decision, the town in 2003 decided to commit to the goal of producing zero waste by the year 2020 (nothing incinerated or diverted to landfills). Since its start, the town's recycling program has expanded significantly. There are 34 unique categories of recyclable products, as well as entire programs dedicated to up-cycling old goods and clothes. The overall recycling rate has steadily grown to 80% and continues to rise.

Building Blocks

Sustainable Development Goals

On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. This solution covers the following goals:

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Social Progress Index

  • Ecosystem Sustainability - Is this society using its resources so they will be available to future generations?
  • Health and Wellness - Do people live long and healthy lives?
  • Photos

    • Kamikatsurecycling

    Resources

    Organisations Involved

    Contributed By

    • Akira Sakano, Zero Waste Academy, RDND, Global Shaper @ World Economic Forum

    Solution Stage

    One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
    STAGE SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING FINANCE REQUIRED KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED GOAL
    Growing scaling and spreading6
    Strong leadership, management, implementation skills
    • Business or organisational growth
    • Franchising
    • Licensing
    • Legislation
    • Spreading ideas
    • Transferring practice
    • Fidelity assessments may be important
    • Strong capacity needed to ensure transfer of practice
    MEDIUM
    • Equity, loans, payment by results, social impact bonds
    HIGH
    Evidence derived from evaluations in multiple sites, and independently run randomised control trials
    Innovation or impact at scale

    Key Details

    Social Progress Index
    Ecosystem SustainabilityHealth and Wellness
    Sustainable Development Goals
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    Activity