Addressing Solid Waste Management through the 3R Approach

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Published: 21 October 2020
Last edited: 11 November 2022
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Summary

A long-term plan called “Yokohama G30 Plan” was proposed in January 2003 to address increasing amount of waste generated in the city. The aim of the plan was to reduce waste by 30% by fiscal year 2010, compared to a baseline amount of 1.6 million tons in 2001. The G30 plan succeeded in achieving the goal five years prior to the target year, as well as in reducing the amount of garbage by 42.2 %. This success led to the development of the 3R Dream Plan, which aspires to further reduce and recycle garbage to improve the environment and thus the future of the city. The plan promotes not only 3R (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) but also proper disposal  anagement by ensuring safe and secure processing and disposal of garbage. This Solution presents successful attempts of the City of Yokohama to implement waste management through the two plans, which made the city widely known as an “eco-friendly city” at a global scale.

Classifications

Region
East Asia
Scale of implementation
Local
Ecosystem
Area-wide development
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Theme
Mitigation
Pollution
Renewable energies
Tourism
Waste management
Wastewater treatment
Water provision and management
Other theme
Waste management
Challenges
Pollution (incl. eutrophication and litter)
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 6 – Clean water and sanitation
SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy
SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
Aichi targets
Target 4: Sustainable production and consumption
Target 8: Pollution reduced
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Target 20: Mobilizing resources from all sources

Location

Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Challenges

Rapid urbanization during the late 20th century has caused various environment issues in the city. While the rate of its population growth declined in the 1990s to 0.5 – 1 % per year, the amount of waste has been increasing due to growing economy and a lifestyle of mass consumption. As a result, the City of Yokohama faced a shortage of landfill and an overflow of the capacity of incinerators.

Beneficiaries

  • Residents of Yokohama City
  • Private companies in Yokohama City

How do the building blocks interact?

The city succeeded in achieving the goals of G30 Plan by defining the roles of stakeholders based on principles of “polluter pays” and “extended producer responsibility.” One notable endeavour done by the city among others is to enhance waste separation by enforcing strict rules and raising public awareness. The city also puts priority on environmental education and public campaigns to raise public awareness of waste management.

Impacts

Economic Impact: By reducing waste, Yokohama City could save USD 1.1 billion in capital expenditure since it became unnecessary to rebuild two incineration plants and about USD 30 million in annual operational expenditures, while the costs due to the expansion of separate collection, sorting and recycling were increased by about USD 24 million annually. Therefore, the G30 Plan generated economic benefits.

 

Social Impact: Since effective waste management requires collaboration among neighbors, community members started to collaborate more, which led to the development of communities.

 

Environmental Impact: The G30 and 3R Dream Plans have been very effective in reducing the amount of waste as well as easing environmental burdens. Yokohama City achieved its target of 30% reduction of waste in FY2005 and reduced waste by 43.2% by FY2010. These percentages are remarkable, considering that the population grew by 170,000 people during the same period. Consequently, Yokohama achieved both economic and environmental benefits. The current two landfill sites still have remaining capacity, which postponed the development of new landfill sites. In addition, the city closed two incinerators in 2010, and as a result, five incinerators are in operation. The waste that was reduced between FY2000 and FY2009 was equivalent to a reduction of 280,000 tons of CO2 emissions.

Contributed by

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TDLC / DRM Hub Japan World Bank