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  • NARRATOR: In this small Japanese town,

  • residents take the concept of recycling very seriously.


  • NARRATOR: They separate their trash

  • into a whopping 34 categories.


  • NARRATOR: Welcome to Kamikatsu, Japan, the zero waste town.


  • NARRATOR: Hatsue Katayama diligently separates her waste

  • according to Kamikatsu's rigorous, zero waste program.


  • AKIRA SAKANO: In the very beginning,

  • Kamikatsu was doing open incineration.

  • But people could see that's really

  • hurting the environment at the same time

  • the health of the people.

  • So general waste was created.

  • NARRATOR: Since the program began in 2003,

  • 80% of the town's garbage gets recycled, reused, or composted.

  • The rest goes to a landfill.

  • But by 2020, the goal is to be 100% zero waste.


  • AKIRA SAKANO: It's been very tough,

  • in a way, to gain the understanding of the people.

  • Of course, when they had to separate garbage

  • into 34 categories, which is massive, it's really tough.

  • NARRATOR: Residents must washed, clean, sort, and then

  • bring all of the materials to the city's recycling center

  • where monitors such as Kazuyuki Kiyohara

  • make sure it's being done properly.



  • NARRATOR: Signs on each of the bins

  • tell consumers what their trash will be recycled into,

  • and how much that process can cost or earn the community.


  • NARRATOR: The town has what's known as a [JAPANESE]

  • shop, meaning circular, were residents can bring in and take

  • used items for free.

  • There's also a factory where local women make products out

  • of discarded items.

  • AKIRA SAKANO: We have lots of old kimonos

  • or old clothes or these flags not used anymore.

  • So we asked all these grannies, who really

  • had the skills for the sewing.

  • Then they made it into a craft like teddy bears or bags,

  • or what I'm wearing right now, as well.

  • It's made out of all these fish flags

  • that we celebrate and use for the Children's Day.

  • NARRATOR: Businesses all over Kamikatsu

  • have incorporated ways to become zero waste.

  • AKIRA SAKANO: We are cutting, by doing the recycling, the cost

  • into one third compared to when we actually burned everything.

  • We are trying to focus more, and totally change our lifestyles,

  • to not to produce any waste.

  • Even in this small town with only 1,700 people,

  • everyone looks up to each other.

  • And they look after and take care of each other.

  • So this kind of supporting system

  • that was in the community really helped

  • for the implementation of the zero waste.

  • NARRATOR: Let us know if you have

  • any unique tips for reducing your environmental impact

  • in the comments below.

  • And be sure to check out this next episode.

  • SPEAKER: Two years of trash in this tiny little jar.

  • In my values are having a really low environmental impact.

  • I have to live like I want that.

  • And so that's why I decided to change my lifestyle.

  • NARRATOR: Thanks for watching Seeker Stories.

  • Please subscribe to see new videos every week.


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B1 narrator speaking japanese japanese waste speaking town

How This Town Produces No Trash

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