Global Environment

National Action Plan for Agenda 21 -Chap. 21

[Agenda 21] National Action Plan for Agenda 21

Chapter 21 ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF SOLID WASTES AND SEWAGE-RELATED ISSUES

A) Minimizing Wastes

It is necessary to reduce the final amount of wastes to be treated as much as possible. The final amount of wastes can be minimized by limiting the generation of wastes, promoting the use of recycled resources, and properly disposing of wastes.

Taking the above into account, Japan will attach importance to the implementation of the following activities:

(1)
With the wide-ranging amendments of the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law in 1992, the objective of which has been clarified as being the reduction of the amount of wastes, the basic policy of this law is to promote the planned disposal of wastes, and Japan will enforce measures for the reduction of wastes, including the promotion of appropriate packaging for goods, packaging reuse, composting and the segregation and separate collection of recyclable waste.
(2)
In addition to encouraging the general public to use self-restraint in the use of throwaway products and to cooperate in regards to recycling, Japan will make efforts to increase public awareness, to conduct environmental education and to provide assistance for voluntary activities among the private sector. These efforts will be made through the national government and local authorities in order to promote self-restraint in the manufacture and sales of throwaway products and excessive packing, and at the same time promoting the manufacture of products that are easy to dispose of, and products that are easy to recycle.
(3)
Japan will also conduct studies regarding the practical application of economic measures for the promotion of the reduction of waste amounts.
(4)
In order to promote the reduction of waste amounts, Japan established a National Conference for the Promotion of the Reduction in the Amount of Garbage in September 1992, and conducts activities through the mutual cooperation of the general public, businesses and governments. Japan will continue to powerfully promote activities among the general public which have to do with the reduction of the amount of garbage.
(5)
As regards the promotion of proper disposal, Japan will establish an appropriate system of waste disposal, aiming at the reduction of final treatment amounts. Using sewage sludge as an example, Japan is promoting the reduction of amounts through incineration and melting, converting it into compost, and effectively using it as a construction material, after considering the fact that the generation of sewage sludge increases each year.

21-B) Environmentally Sound Waste Reuse and Maximizing Recycling

As the issue of waste represents a big problem, which must be solved in order to construct a socio-economic system with reduced environmental load, it will be necessary to reduce waste amounts by promoting the recycling of resources, in addition to limiting the generation of wastes.

Taking the above into account, Japan will attach importance to the implementation of the following activities:

(1)
As legislation for recycling, the Law for Promotion of Utilization of Recyclable Resources was put into effect in October 1991, and necessary measures for the promotion of the use of recycled resources were adopted. Also, in the Law on Temporary Measures to Promote Business Activities for the Rational Use of Energy and the Utilization of Recycling Resources, Japan has adopted assistance-related measures, including measures for the voluntary use of recycled resources by businesses, and the manufacture of products that can be easily reused.
(2)
As measures for assistance regarding recyclable waste, Japan has adopted special tax redemptions for waste recycling facilities, as well as low-interest financing through governmental financing agencies.
(3)
As guidelines regarding recycling, a report completed in December of 1990 by the Subcommittee for Waste Disposal and Recycling of Resources, of the Deliberation Committee for Industrial Structure, suggested measures for waste disposal and recycling of resources. Guidelines were provided for the disposition of general waste and industrial waste based on this report, and each year the progress of these activities are assessed, and the guidelines are reviewed as necessary.
(4)
Japan has adopted measures for the reduction of construction by-products such as surplus soil and asphalt, sewage and sludge, foodstuff waste, and foodstuff-related waste such as packing and containers, as well as measures promoting model businesses for the recycling of resources.
(5)
As an activity for the enhancement of public awareness concerning recycling, ministries and government agencies related to recycling in 1991 designated each October to be the month for the promotion of recycling. With the establishment in September 1991 of the Council for the Promotion of Recycling, which consists of industrial organizations and consumer organizations, and which is the main body for the promotion of recycling in the private sector, there is progress being made in a wide range of recycling activities among the general public. Furthermore, Japan will actively promote education regarding recycling in various places, including regions, homes and schools.
(6)
Japan will conduct a wide range of studies regarding the practical application of economic methods for the promotion of recycling.
(7)
By amending the Waste Management Law in 1991, in addition to reducing waste amounts, Japan has clarified the legal objectives of recycling, and is enforcing measures for the recycling of waste.
(8)
In addition to assisting the improvement of such facilities as recycling centers, which promote the recycling of general waste by cities, towns and villages, Japan has adopted measures for tax incentive benefits for businesses which recycle waste.
(9)
In addition to conducting surveys, research and technological development for the recycling of waste, as well as gathering and providing information for such recycling, Japan will also make efforts to expand the use of products which are made from recycled resources.

21-C) Promoting Environmentally Sound Waste Disposal and Treatment

In order to solve the problem of waste, it is necessary to change the tendency of today's society toward mass-consumption and mass disposal of waste, building a society of sustainable development that imposes less environmental burden. This can be achieved by such means as promoting recycling through the mutual cooperation of governments, local authorities, citizens and corporations, and promoting environmentally sound waste treatment and disposal in order to reduce environmental burden.

The disposal of waste in Japan is conducted in accordance with the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law.

Taking the above into account, Japan will attach importance to the implementation of the following activities:

(1)
In order to further promote the appropriate disposal of waste, Japan will strengthen the standards for the disposal of waste and the observance of these standards.
(2)
Burnable waste discharged after implementing efforts for reducing and recycling should be incinerated and its thermal energy should be utilized.
(3)
By means of a system of public waste treatment centers and a system for the approval of specified facilities, Japan will further promote improvements in domestic facilities for the disposal of waste in order to realize the proper disposal of waste in Japan. Particularly in urban spheres where final disposal sites are difficult to construct, Japan will promote the construction of large reclaimed disposal sites (the so-called Phoenix Project) as well as construction of embankments at reclaimed disposal sites.
(4)
In addition to these measures, Japan will continue to conduct observations, surveys and research concerning the illegal discarding of waste, in order to avoid harm to human health and the living environment from environmental pollution caused by waste.
(5)
In addition to making efforts to manage information, conduct technological development and information release and foster human resources in order to achieve the proper disposal and treatment of waste, Japan will also promote international cooperation.
(6)
Meanwhile, Japan will promote wastewater treatment, focusing on small cities and agricultural and fishing areas that have fallen behind larger cities in the spread of sanitary disposal systems. Besides promoting the improvement of sewerage, Japan will improve community plants and drainage facilities in towns and villages, depending on the local situation, so that by around the year 2000, over 70% of the population will have wastewater hygienically processed by public facilities. Japan will also encourage the provision of "Gappei-shori Johkasou" through the assistance of public authorities.

21-D) Extending Waste Service Coverage

Although the percentage of the total population which receives collection service for general waste had reached 99.3%, following a waste collection plan in 1991, when looking at the conditions of disposal, the amount accounted for by direct reclamation (e.g. landfill of waste without any processing) is 19.4% of the total amount of waste generated, with the amount of household waste accounting for 2.3% of the total.

The sewerage service coverage ratio is presently 45%, and improvement of sewerage is remarkably slow in small and medium-sized municipalities.

Taking the above into account, Japan will attach importance to the implementation of the following activities:

(1)
Keeping the reduction of waste amounts and the reuse of waste in mind, local authorities have the objective of reducing the disposal amount of garbage to 84% of the present amount, by means of incineration, segregation, and composting, in accordance with the Five-Year Plan for the 7th Stage of Waste Treatment Facilities Improvement which began in 1992. These local authorities are realizing improvements in facilities, in addition to providing guidance for the establishment of garbage disposal plans and plans for drainage in living environments in compliance with actual conditions in regions, in order to achieve this objective.
(2)
In order to promote the spread of flush-toilets as well as the proper treatment of wastewater in the living environment, in addition to improving "Gappei-shori Johkasou", Japan will promote the active and effective use of the sludge that is generated from these facilities through composting.
(3)
The most important issue in the Five-Year Plan for the 7th Stage of Sewerage Improvement, which began in 1991, is the promotion of sewerage in small and medium-sized municipalities, and Japan will actively promote projects to achieve this plan.
(4)
Accompanying the progress made in the improvement of sewerage, Japan will promote the effective use of the sewage and sludge, which is increasing in volume each year, for such purposes as compost and construction materials.

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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