The 2,000 inhabitants of Kamikatsu Island, a remote region of the country, separate the waste they produce by dividing it into 34 different categories. Citizens have a duty to bring their waste to a collection station. Only older people who do not have a car are exempt from the obligation.
In this way, collection trucks and containers have been eliminated, so that each family is responsible for managing waste in their own homes. Traditional garbage collection is not economically viable in a mountainous area with widely scattered houses.
In the center, there is even a place set up as an Exchange Center, where it is possible to barter and take what another family no longer uses or needs. Objects that They are in perfect condition and can be reused by another family.
In addition, with the money collected from recycling waste, the municipality gives subsidies for the purchase of material to make compost, lottery tickets or vouchers for buying food. In 2000, the recycling rate was 55%, today they are already around 90% (not counting the composting that is done in homes). Their goal is to recycle all the waste they generate by 2020.
The measure was implemented in 2001, when the local government decided to reduce the incineration rates of domestic waste on the island through the Zero Waste program . Kamikatsu waived state subsidies to build two new incineration plants. Three nearby towns have copied this good initiative and have decided to follow Kamikatsu’s example. We could also learn from them, right?