Waste management; learning from Japan

​Cooperation amongst local people is vital in keeping a city’s waste under control.

In Japan, young children are taught in their early age to recycle things after use. They are also taught to sort out house hold waste which helps in waste management.

In Japan’s Yokohama city the residents work together to divide the recyclable resources from the combustible waste. They also have neighbourhood clean-up of the streets and station squares.

 But all that waste management began in 1955 when the city started regular waste collection. In 1970, the separation of oversized waste begun before cans, glass and plastic bottles were separated from waste.

 Population growth came with the increase of waste which led to the formulation of a G30 plan in 2003.  The G30 Plan promotes separation of garbage and recyclables and recycling, this plan aims to reduce garbage (waste generation control) and its impact on the environment.

An advanced recycling long-term master plan called the 3R dream plan came into effect in 2010 promoting the concept of reducing the quantity of waste by reusing and recycling waste.

This same concept was adopted by PNG in 2014 also being applied in selected secondary schools in the National Capital District by the NCDC.

But what happens to the rest of the waste in Japan after it’s collected in Yokohama city? It ends up at one of the three operating incineration plants out of the seven that is currently in operation.

The Kanazawa plant is one of the three operating plants that Loop PNG recently visited.

Waste goes through this safe, clean and fully automated plant that makes maximum use of thermal energy that is generated by refused incineration.

400 tons of waste is incinerated per day at this 90- staffed 24 hour operation plant. The waste is brought to a bay where it is emptied and thrown into a huge pit where a massive crane sorts out the waste into the incinerator.

The incinerator operates at high temperature between 850 and 950 degrees Celsius and the remaining ash is taken to the conveyor where the hazardous substances are removed.

The hazardous substances are removed by the exhaust gas treatment facility while the light dust ash is transported to the final disposal site.

As for the heat that is generated from the furnace in the incinerator, boilers boil water from the heat that is generated to produce steam. The steam produced is sent to gas turbines and used for generating electricity. The heat is also sent to provide a source of heat for pools and public baths.

This incineration technology can be easily adopted by PNG’s main towns.

Sally Pokiton