The inspiring thing that happened when a Japanese village went almost waste-free

The village of Kamikatsu sits among verdant rice fields and mountainous forest on the Western Japanese island of Shikoku. With less than 1,700 residents, it’s the smallest village on the island, but for the last few years, has been garnering headlines around the world. For decades, the village had given little thought to processing its waste, either burning it in an open incinerator or burying it in the ground. A failed new incinerator project, however, forced the village to rethink its strategy and a lofty ambition was born - to become a zero-waste town by 2020. Today, more than 80% of the village’s waste is kept out of incinerators and landfill, but the transformation wasn’t easy or quick.


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