Date of this Version
Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2015
Improper waste disposal and management globally is linked to a variety of problems with the environment and health. This problem can be addressed by following the 3 R’s; reduce, reuse, and recycle. Japan is continually aiming towards becoming a sustainable, recycling oriented society with the implementation of the 3 R’s, reducing GHG emissions, and innovating new technologies for recycling and waste management. This research aims to expand the knowledge on the challenges and ways to improve curbside recycling systems and to be able to provide suggestions for improvements to the system with input from Japanese middle school students from a survey, observational information from an area survey, and a one month observation of curbside recycling sites done in Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. The main research question is to identify the challenges associated with municipal curbside recycling in Matsudo City, 15 years after the full implementation of the Containers and Packaging Recycling Law in 2000. This could be significant to other rapidly developing countries, especially in Asia, as Japan’s history could provide useful information and insight for sound waste management and more opportunities for Japan to display waste management techniques and recycling innovations will come with the nearing 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The main challenges found which were concerned with attracting animals like crows and cats to curbside recycling sites, illegal dumping of oversized trash, and possible issues with knowledgeable volunteers to watch over the curbside recycling sites. Possible suggestions for the system to become more efficient include informing volunteers who monitor curbside recycling sites, choosing volunteers wisely, informing residents on correct disposal requirements to avoid attracting animals, make curbside recycling sites harder for animals to get into, use less packaging on products, create an online based oversized trash pick-up reservation system, and increasing quotas for oversized trash.