About Kamikatsu

Kamikatsu, Tokushima, Japan

Kamikatsu is known for “Zero Waste”, which aims to reduce waste through an intensive recycling program. The village is also known for a leaf business called “Irodori”. Although Kamikatsu is facing depopulation, with a declining birthrate and aging population, it is known as an area for regional development and there are over 2,000 visitors a year.

“Irodori” leaf business


Zero Waste

Since 2003, Kamikatsu became the first village in Japan to declare for “Zero Waste,” an ideal the village has been working hard to follow ever since. Before the implementation of the program, Kamikatsu, like many parts of Japan, disposed of its waste using incineration, as well as a dumping method inside a large hole in the ground. This system soon proved to be cost-ineffective and unsustainable, resulting in the need to overhaul it completely.

In Kamikatsu today, there is no garbage truck to collect residents’ waste. Instead, villagers compost all of their organic waste matter themselves, and the rest is separated into 45 different categories to be recycled for materials, or re-used. Only a small amount left over that cannot be recycled is incinerated.

In 2019, 80% of the village’s waste was recycled, compared to a national average of just 20%. But we don’t want to stop there. By aiming to become Zero Waste, we are developing new ways to reduce the amount of garbage being made in the first place, to remove one-time use items from our daily lives, and to become truly sustainable. 

45 different categories of separation






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