B1 Intermediate Other 432 Folder Collection
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[MUSIC PLAYING]
NARRATOR: In this small Japanese town,
residents take the concept of recycling very seriously.
KAZUYUKI KIYOHARA: [SPEAKING JAPANESE]
NARRATOR: They separate their trash
into a whopping 34 categories.
KAZUYUKI KIYOHARA: [SPEAKING JAPANESE
NARRATOR: Welcome to Kamikatsu, Japan, the zero waste town.
HATSUE KATAYAMA: [SPEAKING JAPANESE]
NARRATOR: Hatsue Katayama diligently separates her waste
according to Kamikatsu's rigorous, zero waste program.
HATSUE KATAYAMA: [SPEAKING JAPANESE]
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.
HATSUE KATAYAMA: [SPEAKING JAPANESE]
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.
[SPEAKING JAPANESE]
KAZUYUKI KIYOHARA: [SPEAKING JAPANESE]
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.
HATSUE KATAYAMA: [SPEAKING JAPANESE]
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.
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How This Town Produces No Trash

432 Folder Collection
E Fei Loh II published on July 25, 2016
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