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Data Entry: November 2011
Name of local government Hokkaido Prefectural Government
Department in charge of eco-town program Recycling Society Promotion Division, Bureau of Environmental Affairs, Department of Environment and Lifestyle
Approval of eco-town plan June 2000 
Target area of eco-town program Whole area of Hokkaido Prefecture: 83,456 km2
Locations of waste recycling facilities Whole area of Hokkaido Prefecture
Waste recycling facilities
  • Facilities for regional waste recycling
  Southern Hokkaido Area Central Hokkaido Area Northern Hokkaido Area Okhotsk Area Tokachi Area Kushiro-Nemuro Area
Recycling of fisheries waste
Recycling of squid processing waste
Recycling of scallop processing waste
Recycling of scallop shell waste
Methane fermentation using livestock excreta
Composting of livestock excreta
Recycling of waste agricultural PVC products
Recycling of waste PET bottles
Liquefaction of waste plastics
Recycling of waste plastics into substitute fuel for coke
Production of refuse derived fuel (RDF)
Recycling of scrap tires
Recycling of used glass bottles
Recycling of used batteries and used fluorescent lamps
Recycling of used beverage cartons
Recycling of mixed waste paper
Gasification and melting of shredder residue
Gasification and melting of municipal solid wastes


Background of starting eco-town program
  • Unfavorable Situation regarding Waste Discharge and Management
    In Hokkaido Prefecture, municipal solid waste was generated and recycled as follows:
    • The daily per capita generation of municipal solid waste was higher than the national average.
    • Municipal solid waste was landfilled at a higher rate than the national average.
    • The recycling rate of municipal solid waste was significantly low, at about half of the national average.
  • Specific Industrial Waste Issues
    • Dairy and animal husbandry are key industries in Hokkaido Prefecture. Animal excreta from these industries accounts for about half of industrial waste generated in Hokkaido Prefecture.
    • Among industrial waste, construction waste is generated mostly in central Hokkaido Area. In other areas, fisheries and agricultural wastes account for a large proportion of industrial waste. The amount of these wastes are huge, therefore, a strategic approach was needed to promote waste recycling in Hokkaido Prefecture.
  • Enforcement of Recycling Laws
  • Master Plans for Building a Recycling Society
    • The third Hokkaido Prefecture Long-Term Master Plan, established in 1998, defines the Prefectural Government’s environmental policy for creating an environment-friendly society to pass down a better environment to future generations.
    • In addition, the Hokkaido Prefecture Environmental Master Plan was established in 1998, which contains the phrase “the creation of a recycling society that seeks to protect the global environment from a local point of view” as a long-term goal and specifies that resource recycling be promoted as a policy direction.
Basic concepts for eco-town development
  • The eco-town program is an important, zero emission-oriented action program designed to provide concrete ways to develop a recycling society from a local perspective, using techniques and facilities of private companies.
  • The basic concepts of the eco-town program are as follows.
    1. Create a recycling society in harmony with the rich natural environment.
    2. Develop a resource recycling industry in collaboration with agriculture, forestry, fisheries, steel manufacturing, paper manufacturing, cement manufacturing and other industries.
    3. Cooperate with existing businesses and create new recycling businesses to reduce landfilling operations to zero.
  • Promotion of recycle processing based on the properties of waste
    Promote recycle processing by setting up the following waste categories, taking into consideration waste generation, logistics, and use of recycled products.
    1. Wastes efficiently and intensively recycled at one location in Hokkaido Prefecture
      - Used home appliances, paper containers and packages, incinerated ash and waste plastics
    2. Wastes efficiently recycled locally in each area
      - Fisheries waste, sewage sludge, animal excreta, shredder residue, and construction waste
    3. Wastes regarded as unused resources for development of new uses
      - Kitchen refuse, scallop shells, composite material waste from construction sites, and waste incinerator slag
Programs for promoting eco-town development  * See "Unique efforts and initiatives for eco-town development" for more information about the following.
  • Research and Dissemination Program
    Conducts various researches on the actual conditions of waste reduction and resource recycling, publishes various educational materials including the 3R Handbook, and holds 3R promotion events.
  • 3R Campaign Promotion Program
    Ensures collaboration and coordination among various industry-academia-government conferences, including the Hokkaido Prefectural Council for Promoting the Use of Recyclable Materials, and related institutions.
  • Biomass Use Promotion Program
    Promotes biomass utilization efforts through industry-academia-government and local community collaborations, including the operation of the Hokkaido Prefecture Biomass Network Conference.
  • Authorization program of recycled goods and products
    Facilitates the use of recycled products, with the Hokkaido Prefectural Government authorizing and advertising recycled products that meet specific standards.
  • Tax system for promoting the use of recyclable materials (Industrial waste disposal tax system)
    Supports equipment development and R&D activities that are intended to reduce industrial waste generation or to recycle industrial waste.
Major success factors  
  • Master Plans for Building a Recycling Society
    • The Hokkaido Prefecture Long-Term Master Plan, the Hokkaido Prefecture Environmental Master Plan, the Hokkaido Prefecture Waste Management Plan and other master plans define policies for building a resource recycling society.
  • Leadership of the Prefectural Government
    • The Governor made a political commitment to develop Hokkaido, placing priority on the environment.
  • Promotion of Recycle Processing Based on the Properties of Waste
    • Hokkaido Prefecture has a large land area, in which waste generation conditions and the demand for recycled products differ from area to area. Moreover, waste and recycled products must be transported over relatively long distances, and so the prices of recycled products depend greatly on transportation cost as well as on recycling cost.
      Consequently, in promoting waste recycling, wastes for intensive recycle processing have been separated from those to be recycled within each area. This scheme has increased the cost effectiveness of recycling.
  • Facilitating Private-Sector Commercialization of Resource Recycling
    • Municipal governments supported the matching of resource recycling businesses driven by the private sector.
    • Private businesses and municipal governments identified problematic waste by area and assessed relevant recycling measures.
  • Adopting and Implementing Various Approaches and Programs
    • Various approaches and programs have been adopted and implemented to promote the recycling industry.

Unique efforts and initiatives for eco-town development
  • Publishing the 3R Handbook
    • The Hokkaido Prefectural Government has prepared and distributed the 3R Handbook, which provides useful information for stakeholders including residents, organizations, businesses and municipal governments, to promote 3R efforts (reduce, reuse and recycle waste) and give them opportunities to take action to reduce and recycle waste.
    • To prepare the handbook, the Hokkaido Prefectural Government carried out various fact-finding surveys on the waste reduction and resource recycling efforts of municipalities and recycling facilities in Hokkaido Prefecture.
  • Promotion of Initiatives and Partnerships among the Private Sector
    • Unused recyclable materials are generated by people’s lives and business activities. The Hokkaido Prefectural Council for Promoting the Use of Recyclable Materials was established in 2003 as an assembly of stakeholders such as generators of recyclable wastes, recyclers, experts and municipal governments, aiming at promoting recycling businesses by the private sector. The Council discusses issues concerning promoting the efficient use of unused recyclable materials and issues regarding using such materials commercially, thereby promoting concrete approaches toward building a recycling society.
      - Various stakeholders were involved in the establishment of the Council, including the Hokkaido Prefectural Government, the Hokkaido Prefectural Economic Federation, major firms and industry associations.
    • In the framework of the Council, surveys, researches and demonstration are promoted and carried out to explore sustainable, efficient and commercially-viable wastes recycling businesses, aiming to create a virtuous circle involving the environment and the economy. The Council also shares information and is building a network of waste recycling experts.
    • Three working groups are set up under the Council: Inorganic Recyclable Materials Working Group, Organic Recyclable Materials Working Group and Business Promotion Working Group. Furthermore, sub-working groups are set up under these working groups to assess the feasibility and viability of recycling specific industrial wastes.
    • The Council members include private businesses, municipal governments, universities and economic associations. Each member takes part in working groups or sub-working groups according to their respective interests. (Membership: 125, as of June 2011)
    • The activities of the Council are carried out on the initiative of the private sector. The theme of each sub-working group is proposed by a company with a specific business idea. (Example: recycling of coal ash, scallop shells, sulfur-solidified materials and waste gypsum products)
    • The Hokkaido Prefectural Economic Federation fully supports the activities of the Council.
    • The Council receives advice from experts of local universities, who also introduce the Council to new networks of people.
    • The Hokkaido Prefectural Government is coordinating overall activities, provide progress management of individual activities, closely investigate the results of activities, and support the building of networks among people. The Industrial Promotion Department of the Prefectural Government provides cooperation in business promotion.
  • Hokkaido Prefecture Biomass Network Conference
    • Various biomass resources are abundantly available in Hokkaido Prefecture due to its prosperous agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries.
    • Biomass is a renewable organic resource of biological origin. Greater use of biomass will reduce the consumption of fossil resources and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create a recycling society, develop environmental industries and revitalize local communities.
    • Biomass is widely distributed in various areas, so it is important to take local characteristics into consideration, such as state of biomass production, land use and types of industry.
    • The Hokkaido Prefecture Recycling Society Promotion Master Plan formulated in 2005 defined the promotion of biomass use as an important measure. Accordingly, the Hokkaido Prefecture Biomass Network Conference was established in 2005 to facilitate and support local efforts to use biomass and to develop a Hokkaido Prefecture-wide network of people.
    • The Conference publishes information on promoting the use of biomass to local people and businesses, facilitates information sharing and collaboration among municipal governments, and assesses the use of waste or unused biomass for future commercialization.
  • Introduction of a tax system for promoting the use of recyclable waste materials (Industrial waste disposal tax system)
    • In 2006, the Hokkaido Prefectural Government imposed a new tax on industrial waste disposal for promoting the use of recyclable materials in order to reduce the generation and promote the recycling of industrial waste.
    • Industrial waste is taxed at a rate of ¥1000/ton when it is transported to a final disposal site.
    • Tax revenues are to be spent on policy approaches such as reduction of industrial waste, proper treatment/processing of industrial waste and promotion of resource recycling and are used for the following programs.
    • Subsidy system for business establishments to install facilities and equipment for reduction and recycling of their industrial waste
    • Subsidy system designed to support the cost of commercially-oriented research and development on industrial waste reduction and recycling
    • Program for sending specialist advisors to small and medium-sized enterprises, etc. to support their efforts to control industrial waste generation and promote recycling
    • Subsidy system for small and medium-sized enterprises, etc. to conduct demonstration tests and market research for commercializing the manufacture of recycled products from industrial waste
    • Program for surveillance of improper disposal of industrial waste
    • Subsidy system designed to support the cost of environmental safety analyses, etc. required to apply for recycled product authorization
  • Hokkaido Prefecture Recycled Product Authorization System
    • The Hokkaido Prefectural Government set up a "Recycled Product Authorization System", which certifies recycled products, which meet specific standards, and encourage their use, in order to facilitate the appropriate use of recyclable materials and waste reduction, promote the recycling industry in Hokkaido Prefecture, and help build a recycling society. As of March 2011, 116 products had been authorized.
  • Hokkaido Prefecture Zero-Emission Award System
    • The Hokkaido Prefecture Zero-Emission Award System established in 2005. The award is offered to models of good practice in reducing waste generation/disposal by business establishments located in Hokkaido Prefecture. The purpose of the system is to raise awareness of waste reduction and promoting environmentally sound business operations among the business establishments. Awarded practices are widely announced via an award presentation ceremony and on the web pages of the Hokkaido Prefectural Government.
Future prospects
  • Seventy percent of all recycling facilities operate successfully. Eleven facilities have been suspended or decommissioned due to the following reasons.
    • They are no longer able to secure raw materials or wastes, or their recycling business is no longer profitable because wastes have moved to other recyclers who employed lower-cost recycling technologies. (9 facilities)
    • Their recycled products had problems concerning contents. (1 facility)
    • They decommissioned their facility at the end of their testing and research on recycling. (1 facility)
  • The waste recycling rate in Hokkaido Prefecture has remained lower than the national average. Therefore, there is still an important need to reduce waste generation and improve the recycling rate in the prefecture.
  • • In 2008, the Hokkaido Prefectural Government instituted the Ordinance on Promoting the Building of a Recycling Society in Hokkaido Prefecture to help accelerate the creation of a recycling society. This ordinance defines stakeholder responsibilities, principles of approaches and prohibitions. In addition, in 2010, the Prefectural Government drew up the Hokkaido Prefecture Recycling Society Development Promotion Master Plan, which defines basic policies for approaches toward developing a recycling society and comprehensive, systemic approaches to building a recycling society.
  • To create a recycling society, the Prefectural Government will take approaches based on four principles: promote the 3R, further proper waste treatment, facilitate biomass use and promote recycling-related industries and other recycling society-oriented businesses.

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