Kamikatsu is approximately an hour’s drive from Tokushima City. It has stunning views, incredibly rich nature, forests, and divine boulders with dense moss. The total population is around 1,500 (which is about 800 households).
Forests account for 88% of the total area of the town, of which approximately 80% is man-made with cedar and others. The key industry of forestry has declined with the low-cost lumber imports.In 2003, Kamikatsu was the first in Japan to issue a “Zero Waste Declaration. This comprises activities to reduce wastefulness and trash as much as possible, with the target of generating zero waste overall.
The architecture was designed by Hiroshi Nakamura, but it was a collective effort because, after many discussions, each household decided to compost kitchen scraps and bring other wastes to the town’s waste station. The waste was separated into nine different categories, increasing to 34 categories and then 45 categories today.
The recycling rate has now surpassed 80%.
Kamikatsu Zero Waste Center now embodies the principle of Zero Waste as an earth-friendly facility that adds the functions of research, education, and communication to a waste-sorting treatment plant, aiming to recreate community and develop the region to be even more abundant.