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Living in a Zero-Waste City

<p>In Kamikatsu, Japan, waste is not a problem -- mainly because new policies practically forbid it. But citizens have adapted to their new zero-waste lifestyle.</p>
July 15, 2008, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Kamikatsu may be a backwater in the wooded hills and rice terraces of south-eastern Japan but it's become a world leader on waste policy."

"There are no waste collections from households at all. People have to take full responsibility for everything they throw away."

"Kitchen waste has to be composted. Non-food waste is processed either in local shops which accept goods for recycling or in Kamikatsu's Zero Waste Centre. There, people have to sort their unwanted items into 34 different boxes for recycling."

"Residents have to sort plastic bottles (used for fruit juice, for example) from PET (polyethylene teraphthalate) bottles (used for mineral water) because PET is more valuable when it is separated out."

"There are specific boxes for pens, razors and the sort of Styrofoam trays on which meat is often purchased. These have to be washed and dried."

"The scheme was adopted when councillors realised it was much cheaper than incineration - even if the incinerator was used to generate power."

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Published on Friday, July 11, 2008 in BBC
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