In 2003, the local government in Kamikatsu, Japan decided to require that all residents comply with a new, rigorous recycling program - perhaps the most rigorous in the world.
Since then, the town composts, recycles, or reuses 80% of its garbage. It may not technically be 100% zero waste, as the remaining 20% goes into the landfill, but it’s a remarkable achievement for an entire community, in such a short amount of time. The impacts have been positive - cutting costs for the community drastically, as well as improving the conditions of the lush and beautiful environment that surrounds the town in Southeast Japan.
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