Sep 11th, 2020
Holy Crap Accomplishment: Trash-less City
- Kamikatsu is a rural town of about 2,000 people in the forested mountains of Japan’s Shikoku island.
- Kamikatsu adopted a “zero waste” policy in 2003. Before that, the town used to burn all its trash in incinerators.
- Zero Waste is “a philosophy not to produce rubbish or contaminate our natural environment.”
- 45 different categories of recyclables, and the town recycles 80 percent of its trash.
- 9 subcategories for paper.
- Zero Waste Academy, a non-profit organization that manages the recycling program.
- When waste decomposes in landfills, it releases methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. A large amount of that methane leaks into the atmosphere, heating up the planet.
- If trash gets incinerated instead of dumped in a landfill, the burning garbage pumps carbon emissions into the air.
- 6x less to recycle than incinerate
- No trash trucks
- Residents recycle – only 20% end up in dumpster
- 14 bins at home
- Wash food containers before recycling
- 15 years ago – clear plastic garbage bags – had to write your name on it – public exposure
- Town has become model for the world, attracting interest in their Zero Waste Academy
Holy Crap Thinking:
- Target world class results
- Government Mandate
- People Comply – part of culture – work within people’s parameters
- Social Pressure
Holy Crap Quote:
“I believe that it is important to aim towards a higher target . . . with higher goals, one can exhaustively identify and acknowledge necessary steps, issues and stakeholders to achieve them.”
Akira Sakano, chairperson of the Zero Waste Academy,
Holy Crap Challenge:
Think Bigger: Raise your standards.
Reach Higher: Don’t dismiss but engage. Set high standards.
Do the Impossible: Don’t settle for “good enough” keep pushing for that standard