PARADIGM SHIFT FROM INCINERATION TO RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, AND TOWN DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF OKI TOWN

Working Paper

Cognisant of the disadvantages of incineration (i.e. high disposal costs,
barriers to promoting the 3Rs, overuse of resources and impacts on
climate change), Oki Town decided to make a radical change with the
installation of a biogas plant equipped with a methane fermentation
system in 2006, sparking a transition from a conventional incinerationbased
waste management system to one focused on recycling-oriented
resource management of organic waste. As a result, Oki Town’s recycling
rate increased from 14.9% in 2005 to 63.1% in 2015. The amount of
incinerated waste (called “combustible waste” in Japan) by households
decreased by 56% from 2,295 tonnes in 2005 to 1,007 tonnes in 2015,
and the amount of landfilled waste (called “incombustible waste” in Japan)
by households decreased by 98% from 98 tonnes in 2005 to 2 tonnes in
2015. Meanwhile, waste management expenditures (costs for incineration,
recycling, waste water treatment, collection and transportation) and GHG
emissions decreased, while the quality of life for local people improved,
which plays a pivotal role in regional revitalisation. This case study
describes the key activities carried out, major results achieved, and main
highlights and lessons learnt for future actions.

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