The 3R Dream Plan encourages behavior change and coordination between residents, businesses, and the city government in order to increase recycling and reduce waste.

The Challenge

Rapid economic development and urbanization have caused explosive population growth in Yokohama. The city is now constrained in terms of resources and will soon run out of land for depositing the ash from waste incineration. This situation left Yokohama with only one option: reduce waste through increased reuse and recycling city-wide.

The Solution

The Yokohama 3R Dream Plan teaches manufacturers to use recycled and recyclable materials during production and urges businesses to sell eco-friendly products and services, which will lead to less resources imported and used and, ultimately, wasted. Residents are encouraged to participate by managing their household waste, reusing plastic bags and water bottles, and supporting environmentally friendly businesses. Residents are engaged by invitation to tens of thousands of resident briefings, more than 2,000 campaigns at collection points, and hundreds of campaigns at train stations.

The city has already reduced waste 45% from a peak of 1.61 million tons due to city-wide measures such as thorough sorting, to avoid burning recyclables, and recycling. By undertaking these efforts, Yokohama aims to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% in 2025.

Environmental Benefits – By urging residents to collect their kitchen waste, the city has managed to convert one year’s worth of kitchen waste into enough energy to power 170,000 households for one day.

Economic Benefits – As Japan has limited physical resources and must import many of the materials used in the waste incineration process, extensive recycling is a prerequisite for future growth in Yokohama.

About Cities100

Presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – Cities100 showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2015 publication online here.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
Key Impact
71,000 tons of CO2 reduced each year by 2017 through waste reduction efforts
Share article

More Case Studies