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Home > NETT21 > Waste Recycling Technologies and Recycling Promotion Initiatives in Eco-towns in Japan

Data Entry: November 2011
Name of local government Gifu Prefectural Government
Department in charge of eco-town program Waste Management and Policy Division, Department of Environmental Affairs and Citizen Support
Approval of eco-town plan July 1997 
Target area of eco-town program Whole area of Gifu Prefecture: 10,621 km2
Locations of waste recycling facilities In a specific area
Waste recycling facilities
Background of starting eco-town program
  • Shortage of waste disposal site
    • The Gifu Prefectural Government faced a serious shortage of capacity in waste disposal sites, yet it was difficult to build new sites in the prefecture.
  • Necessity of an integrated waste management policy
    • The prefectural government needed to present a waste management policy (including the construction of waste disposal sites and development of a recycling-oriented system) to residents.
  • A framework for the eco-town program created by the national government
    • The framework for the eco-town program initiated by the national government was created by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Environment to grant national government subsidies to local governments to promote recycling efforts.
Basic concepts for eco-town development Efforts are being made to popularize safe and secure waste treatment and recycling facilities, protect a good living environment and natural environment, reduce the impact on the global environment, and build an attractive model community with many amenities.
Programs for promoting eco-town development
  • Formulating a plan for promoting the eco-town program
  • Hosting Global Environment Village Gifu Fairs
    (Both of these activities were completed in FY 2005.)
Major success factors
  • Leadership taken by the local government
    • The governor of the Gifu Prefectural Government demonstrated strong leadership in promoting the eco-town program.
    • The Gifu Prefectural Government's fifth master plan created in 1994 presented five principles of waste recycling (i.e., comprehensive recycling, safety first, closed-loop framework, public involvement, and cross-sectoral commitment by local government), which boosted the prefectural government's efforts toward waste reduction, appropriate treatment, and recycling.
    • The construction of recycling facilities was promoted via collaboration between the waste management department (which promotes the prefectural government's recycling efforts) and the industry promotion department (which supports venture companies).
  • Initiatives by private-sector companies
    • Cement companies started to accept waste as an alternative raw material to reduce the cost of cement raw materials, which helped reduce the amount of waste to be disposed of.
Unique efforts and initiatives for eco-town development
  • System for authorizing recycled goods and products
    • To encourage the use of recycled products, the prefectural government became the first local government in Japan to create a system for authorizing recycled products. Thus far, 294 products have been authorized (as of July 2011).
    • The specifications for government procurement set by the prefectural government provide for "the priority use of recycled products authorized by the prefectural government."
    • In general, people tend to choose non-recycled products, even if the price and quality of recycled products are equivalent to those of non-recycled products. It is necessary to thoroughly inform the general public about recycled products and change their attitude.
  • Raising residents' awareness about sorting and recycling waste
    • At first, residents failed to properly sort waste plastic containers and packaging. Municipal waste collection companies requested local municipal governments in the prefecture to encourage the sorting of waste, which then improved.
    • Increased eco awareness in society helped make residents more aware of sorting and recycling. The local municipal governments also worked to raise residents' awareness about the importance of sorting. Thus, waste sorting improved, which increased operating efficiency at recycling facilities.
Future prospects The Gifu prefectural government has been implementing a policy for building a resource recycling society. Promotion of the 3R's is now recognized as one of the processes in environmental administration of the prefectural government.

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