Urban Japanese residents are required by law to divide rubbish into flammable and inflammable items. Those who consider this excessive should think about the inhabitants of the small village of Kamikatsu, whose "Zero Waste" programme requires residents to process all their food waste and separate other rubbish into more than 34 different categories! Almost all categories of rubbish are recycled, most of them at the village's recycling centre. For other categories the only option available is incineration.
People have to take full responsibility for everything they throw away. The local authority does not collect rubbish from people's houses at all. Non-food waste has to be taken to the recycling centre; some of it (like bottles and cans) has to be washed and dried in advance. Items which are in good condition to be reused are sent to the recycling store, where residents are free to drop of or take home whatever they like at no cost.
Kitchen waste has to be recycled: all houses have gadgets to mix food waste with other organic residues and make fertiliser. Some people have become ardent eco-warriors, like Katsuo Tanaka, who states: "I produce less food waste now because I have to process it. At the beginning there were many rules to learn, and it certainly takes a bit of time and work every day. But it's a good idea to send things back to the earth, so I support it".
Others are more critical and claim that recycling also involves some waste of energy: "Many of the waste-processors still use electricity. And since Kamikatsu covers a rather large area, residents have no choice but to take their rubbish to the zero waste centre by car."
Nevertheless, the recycling rate has increased from 55% to 80% in just five years.
I. READING COMPREHENSIONANSWER QUESTIONS 1-2 ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION GIVEN IN THE TEXT. USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
- 1 What aspects of the recycling programme are hard and time-consuming? Give two. PAR. 2-3
- 2 Are all the consequences of the programme good for the environment? Give reasons. PAR. 4
ARE THESE STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE? JUSTIFYYOUR ANSWERS WITH THE PRECISE WORDS OR PHRASES FROM THE TEXT, OR USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
3 In Japan, people living in towns have to divide their waste into two categories.
- TRUE: "Urban Japanese residents are required by law to divide rubbish into flammable and inflammable items".
4 All rubbish can be reused or recycled.
- FALSE: "Almost all categories of rubbish are recycled, (...). For other categories the only option available is incineration".
5 All reusable items are sold.
- FALSE: Items which are in good condition to be reused are sent to the recycling store, where residents are free to drop of or take home whatever they like at no cost.
6 All Kamikatsu residents can recycle organic waste at home.
- TRUE: " (...) all houses have gadgets to mix food waste with other organic residues and make fertiliser."
II. USE OF ENGLISH7 FIND IN THE TEXT ONE SYNONYM FOR "tin" (NOUN).
- "He was accused of selling secret information to the enemy".
- waste / rubbish / luggage / junk
"They are building a new skyscraper in New York".
- "I'm not used to driving on the left':
'"Don't put sticky things in your pockets, said his mother".
- "If the fire had been noticed earlier, firefighters (arrive) would have arrived in time".