Aiming to establish a sound
material-cycle society


@The Waste Management and Recycling Department works to control waste generation and to promote reuse, recycling, and proper disposal of recyclable resources?÷, with a view to preserving living environments and making effective use of natural resources.
¦ "recyclable resources" is a new term indicating that all waste materials should be considered as resources for potential reuse and recycling.




¡Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Societye

œEnactment of the Fundamental Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society
@In May 2000 the Fundamental Law for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society was enacted as a basis for the institution of comprehensive and systematic waste and recycling measures. In March 2003 the Fundamental Plan for Establishing a Material-Cycle Society was developed based on the Fundamental Law. The Waste Management and Recycling Department hereafter will pursue to establish a sound material-cycle society comprehensively and systematically in line with this plan.







¡Promotion of Waste Management

œCurrent State of Waste Treatment
@Waste can be classified as either household waste, which is handled by municipal governments, or industrial waste, which is dealt with by the individual corporations that generate it. In recent years, the total volume of waste generated in Japan has remained quite steady. Still, the Waste Management and Recycling Department faces serious challenges, such as the growing shortage of space for final waste disposal, inappropriate waste disposal, e.g. illegal dumping, and conflicts between different areas over long-distance transfer of waste and the establishment of waste treatment facilities.

œRevision to the Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law
@To try and solve various waste-related problems, in 2005 the Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law were revised. In line with these changes, measures were taken to promote recycling and to toughen the regulations on inappropriate treatment of wastes.



¡Recycling Promotion

œPromotion of Container and
@Packaging Recycling

@Container and packaging waste, including glass bottles and plastic bottles, accounts for 60 percent of domestic waste by volume and 20-30 percent by weight. In 1995 the Law for the Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packaging was enacted defining the system in which consumers sorting out containers and packaging, municipal government collecting them, and companies recycling them. The law took full effect in April 2000.

œPromotion of Home Appliance Recycling
@Based on the Law for the Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances, the recycling of household-use air-conditioners, television sets, refrigerators, and washing machines by manufactures started in April 2001. In 2004, a total of approximately 11,216,000 units of these four types of waste appliances were collected at designated collection sites. The law has been enforced favorably, and in April 2004, freezers were included in the list of the specified kinds of home appliances in addition to refrigerators.

œPromotion of Food Recycling
@Food waste from the manufacturing, distribution and consumption of food, makes up 30 percent of all generated domestic waste, although only 20 percent of it is recycled into products such as fertilizer. To tackle this problem, the Law for the Promotion of the Utilization of Recyclable Food Resources was put into effect on May 2001.

œPromotion of Construction
@Material Recycling

@Waste materials such as wood and concrete from construction work account for 20 percent of all generated industrial waste and about 20 percent of all industrial waste at final disposal. They also make up 90 percent of illegally dumped waste (in FY 2004). To tackle this problem, the Law for the Recycling of Construction Materials was put into effect in May 2002

œPromotion of Automobile Recycling
@In July 2002 the Law for the Recycling of End-of-life Vehicles (ELVs) was enacted. This law establishes the new ELV recycling system by mandating concerned parties such as automobile manufacturers to appropriately share the duties of the recycling. The law took full effect in January 2005.

œPromotion of Recycling
@of Personal Computers and
@ Compact Secondary Batteries

@In April 2001 based on the Law for the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources, voluntary collection and recycling system by the manufacturers, for business-use personal computers as well as compact secondary batteries, started. The same type of system for household-use personal computers also started in October 2003.



¡Promotion of Appropriate
@PCB Waste Treatment

@As for PCB waste, the Japan Environmental Safety Corporation Law (put into effect in 2003) is providing a framework for PCB waste treatment. Based on this, Japan Environmental Safety Corporation (JESCO) as an operating body is working to develop the core treatment facilities of the PCB waste in Kitakyushu-city, Aichi-prefecture, Toyoda-city, Tokyo, Hokkaido, and Osaka-city. It is working hard to clean out all the PCB waste in Japan by July 2016, the deadline specified in the Law Concerning Special Measures Against PCB Waste.

¡Dealing with Waste in Big Cities
@Finding sufficient space for landfill disposal has been hard in big cities, due to their large populations and highly concentrated economic activities. In view of this, the department is promoting a plan to create new waste disposal sites on areas of reclaimed sea (Phoenix Plan), to be shared by multiple prefectures.


¡Proper Treatment
@of Domestic Wastewater

@To address the problem of household wastewater, a major cause of water pollution, the department is working to set up a septic tank that is capable of treating both household wastewater and sewage waste together.