Problem DescriptionAt 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.
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:
Social Progress Index
- Zero waste: a small town’s big challenge
A writeup by Akira Skano via World Economic Forum
- Climate change: How quest for zero waste community means sorting the rubbish 34 ways
An article from 2008 about the progress of the program, by The Guardian
- Kamikatsu Zero Waste Declaration
A transcript of the declaration from 2003 (Please turn of Google Translate to read in English).
- Akira Sakano, Zero Waste Academy, RDND, Global Shaper @ World Economic Forum
Solution StageOne 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|
|Evidence derived from evaluations in multiple sites, and independently run randomised control trials||Innovation or impact at scale|