Yokohama - Yokohama 3R Dream Plan

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Challenges

Yokohama experienced rapid population growth from the 1960s until the 1980s due to urbanisation. This increase brought about an increase in municipal waste as well. To design the economy and society to facilitate recycling and restrain waste production, Yokohama implemented the ‘Yokohama G30 Plan’ in January 2003. Through thorough sorting and recycling, Yokohama has reduced waste by 45% from a peak of 1.61 million tons thanks to its hugely successful G30 Plan. The Yokohama 3R Dream Plan is based on the G30 Plan and aims to reduce waste while continuing the separation and recycling of waste to deal with climate change.

Current challenges include demonstrating the necessity of waste reduction to residents and businesses and providing easy-to-understand information to encourage concrete changes. Managing partnerships with businesses, other cities and the national government to take steps upstream is another challenge. 

Actions

The Yokohama 3R Dream Plan seeks safe, secure and stable waste processing with the goal of bringing about a pleasant city to live where waste is not an issue. This not only includes 3R efforts but also raising awareness to prevent can/cigarette butt littering, increasing monitoring in areas where illegal dumping occurs and supporting voluntary beautification activities.

The Yokohama 3R Dream Plan aims to reduce GHG emissions from waste disposal by at least 25% by 2017 and 50% by 2025, as compared to 2009. Yokohama reduced GHG emissions from waste disposal by at least 10% by 2013, a reduction of more than 29,000 tons of CO2e per year.

The plan also seeks a safe, secure and stable system at all stages from collection, through transport and processing, to final disposal. In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Yokohama is engaging in appropriate maintenance of facilities, disaster prevention measures, effective use of energy to make waste processing safe, secure and stable.

Yokohama is also calling on residents to promote the 3Rs. For example, draining kitchen waste for a year equates to the incinerator generating sufficient power for about 170,000 households for one day. Drying out pruned branches and cut grass over a year means the incinerator can burn enough to generate sufficient power for about 210,000 households for one day.

Projected Outcomes

Yokohama’s 2025 urban development strategy aims to increase population, create an environment for companies to thrive in and make the city a dynamic platform. It includes as one of its 4 key goals a ‘robust economic development that yields abundance, and efficient circulation of energy’. The 3R Dream Plan is a cornerstone of this strategy. Furthermore, Yokohama aims to address not only environmental issues but also address the aging society and low birth rates, and the 3R Dream Plan reflects these issues.

It is crucial that residents, businesses and government unite to bring about environmentally-conscious lifestyle change, and the 3R Dream Plan is integral to this. The 3R Dream Plan uses a variety of methods including resident briefings, collection point campaigns, station campaigns, awareness-raising at waste facilities/incinerators and other advertising to help residents understand its objectives