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Local Circular Economy and
- Case of Minamisanriku Aiming
100% Circular and Sustainable Town -
620 people killed
211 people missing
More than 3,000 houses destroyed
Reconstruction Plan by Minamisanriku Town
A Peaceful and Vibrant Town that Nature, People
and Livelihood are Neighboring Together
of the Town
Target 1. Make a Town that People
Can Continue Living in Peace
Target 2. Make a Town that People
Can Live in Harmony with Nature
Target 3. Make a Town with Vibrant
Objectives to Build an Eco-Town
1. Create a Town which
Harmonizes with Nature
2. Promote the Usage of
3. Reduce Municipal Waste and
Minamisanriku Town Sustainable Circulation
Vision (by AMITA)
Town Hall Made of FCS® Certified Local Woods
Minamisanriku Town Hall became the first public facility in Japan to
be awarded the FSC full project certification.
Sustainable Fishery Stimulating the Local Economy
The oyster farm in Minamisanriku became the first aquaculture
facility in Japan to be certified by ASC .
Community-based Resource Circulation Model Based on Biomass
Energy Technology (“BIO”) and the Residents’ Roles Within It
Fertilizer made at BIO is used
in local farms
Educational program on life
circulation ran by local people
Residents take part in
the garbage sorting
Safe and secure organic crops
Circulation of Resource,
Food, and Energy
What the Residents are Saying
The biggest outcome of the garbage sorting is that the bond between
residents is created and becoming stronger and wider.
I myself now has connections between farmers and loggers, and feel
the expansion of rich relationships that money can’t buy. (Yoko Sato,
Local Hostel Owner)
The students, who hadn’t had a chance to commit to the challenges our
town face, has realized that they themselves are the ones who bear
responsibility of the town’s future, and now they are thinking about the
future issues. (Matsugo Yamauchi, Principle of Local High School)
When I asked myself “Why do I sort garbage,” my answer was “It’s
because all lives are related and that’s the image of the future town we
want.” (Mayumi Kudo, Priesthood of Local Shrine)
AMITA and Minamisanriku Town Sign a Public-
Private Partnership Agreement in July, 2014.
AMITA made a commitment to realize regional circular economy
Verification Test for the Next Stage
• How It Works
• Stop the garbage collecting service by the town,
and instead, build a system that residents can
bring in and
sort their household garbage by them selves.
• For What?
• To reduce garbage collecting cost substantially
• To foster mutual assistance among residents
• To promote both physical and mental health of the
Details About the Verification Test
• Establish small independent-decentralized system, and in future years, set
“MEGURU STATION” at each community of population of 2,000 to 3,000.
• Establish a circulation infrastructure of energy, resource, and food, in order to
• Build a resident participatory system which is to solve issues that local communities
face, thorough fostering mutual assistance among residents and promote elders’
health, for example, by setting situations and places that elders can take part in and
• Is it possible to sort garbage through people’s hand, and enhance resource
• Is it possible to stop collecting garbage and let the residents bring it in?
• Can MEGURU STATION become a base of local community?
When Oct. 2
Who 180 families, about 500 people in Minamisanriku
Hours 6:30～18:30 (Closed on Thursdays)
Function 1. Collect garbage 2. Promote communication among residents (Set up spaces where
people can sit and relax and activities that people can take part in.)
(examples: cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, paper, non-combustible, plastic, textile, garden
waste, food oil, food waste)
Features of MEGURU STATION (1)
1. Residents bring in and sort their
garbage by themselves.
2. There are staffs at the station who
help people how to sort garbage.
3. People get “points” every time
they come to the station, and
points can be exchanged to
environmentally friendly products
or can be donated to the
Features of MEGURU STATION (2)
4. There are several other programs,
such as “wood chopping stand” and
“0 shop,” set to enhance further
resource circulation and the
relationship among people.
What We Can See from the Verification Test
• It is possible to sort garbage through people’s hand!!
• It is possible to have residents bring in their garbage!!
• The number of participants grew from 108 families, who
applied in advance, to 200 families in a week after launching
• Feedback from the Residents
• “Sorting doesn’t bother me at all!”
• “To me, bringing in garbage is much more convenient than
collected because I can throw them away at any time I want.”
• MEGURU STATION functions as a hub for local community!!
• In average, every family come to the station twice a week
• People are starting to gather around the station while they
bring in their garbage!!
Solution Not Only for Resource Circulation, but also for
Health, Welfare, Employment, and Industrial Promotion
Solution: BIO System＋MEGURU STATION
• Circulation System of Resource, Energy, and Food
• An infrastructure to enhance the bond between citizens thorough
their voluntary participation
• Places and situations that elders can take part in and feel useful.
Issues that Local Communities Face
• How to cut down healthcare cost
• How to give support to vulnerable road users
• How to restructure the community
• How to develop a community which is
friendly for working parents
• How to stimulate intraregional CE
Results of Existing Solutions
• Increase fiscal burden
• End up ineffective due to
citizen’s low participation rate
• Failure due to aging and
corrosion of residents'