Not long ago life in Kamikatsu centred on cultivating rice. Now the tiny village in the densely wooded mountains of Shikoku Island in south-west Japan has a new obsession: rubbish.
Kamikatsu’s aim is to end its dependence on incineration and become Japan’s first zero-waste community. An hour’s drive from the nearest city, the village was forced to change the way it managed its waste in 2000 when new regulations on dioxin emissions forced it to shut down its two incinerators. “We were no longer able to burn our rubbish, so we thought the best policy was not to produce any at first,” said Sonoe Fujii of the village’s Zero Waste Academy, a non-profit organisation that controls the scheme.
Household waste must be separated into no fewer than 34 categories before being taken to a recycling centre where volunteers reprimand firmly, but politely, anyone who forgets to remove the lid from a plastic bottle or to wash out an empty been. At first, it was very hard work,” said a 65-year old villager as she emptied another bowl of vegetable peelings into the electric garbage disposal unit next to her back door. “It took ages to sort everything into different types. But it comes naturally now.” Any waste that is not organic is taken to the village’s zero-waste centre. The site has a wide variety of items, from bottles, cans and newspapers to batteries, cigarette lighters, ballpoint pens and a surprisingly large number of broken mirrors.
Despite some opposition, Kamikatsu’s recycling rate has soared from 55% a decade ago to about 80% today.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1. Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) The people living in Kamikatsu had to stop burning their rubbish because of new laws.
- TRUE: […] the village was forced to change the way it managed its waste in 2000 when new regulations on dioxin emissions forced it to shut down two incinerators.
b) The attempts to recycle in the village have not been very successful.
- FALSE: Despite some opposition, Kamikatsu’s recycling rate has soared from 55% a decade ago to about 80% today.
2. In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions. Do not copy from the text.
a) What are the tasks involved in recycling the rubbish -organic and nonorganic- in the village?
- Depositing the organic rubbish into special containers and classifying non-organic trash into 34 categories according to its material.
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3. Find the words in the text that mean:
- objective (paragraph 2): aim
- top (paragraph 3): lid
- a very long time (paragraph 3): ages
- classify (paragraph 3): sort