The town of Kamikatsu is known for something it doesn’t have: trash.
It’s not a big town, but even with a population of 1,500 people you would think it would produce at least a good amount of trash.
Up until the 1990’s, this town didn’t do any form of recycling. People used to burn their household garbage at home or dump it in nature.
As you can imagine, it didn’t turn out that great as the emissions from the garbage was bad for both nature and the people of the town.
So, in 2003 the town decided to enforce a Zero Waste Declaration. In other words, they started to recycle absolutely everything. As in everything.
The concept was met with negativity once initiated but, over the years, the people of Kamikatsu got so used to it that they are now very proud of their town’s claim to fame.
They have a classification system with 45 different categories. From metal caps, wooden products and fluorescent lights, to aluminium cans, steel cans, spray cans and more.
Even leftover food is recycled so that it can be turned into compost that becomes fertilizer for the local farm. The vegetables grown on the farm are then used in the local restaurant.
Locals have described how at first it felt like a burden, but that it has since nurtured a sense of caring for things. One local even described the declaration as something that has created richness in their minds.
Watch the Great Big Story video below to see how Kamikatsu has become known as the town with zero trash.
Since it’s giving us all the feels over here, it might not be a bad idea for the town to change their name from Kamikatsu to Kumbaya. Just saying.
Image credit: Nippon