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Eco-towns strategy

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction3

Background of the Study3

Problem Statement5

Purpose of the study6

Rationale of the study6

Significance of the study8

Research Questions9

Chapter 2: Literature Review10

Recycling projects11

Characterisation of eco-town benefits13

Chapter 3: Methodology18

Research Deign18

Literature Search18



Chapter 1: Introduction

Background of the Study

The Government of UK put in place a comprehensive legal framework for becoming a recycling-based society. The Basic Law for Establishing a Recycling-Based Society came into force in January 2008 (METI, 2004; Morioka et al., 2005). It provides quantitative targets for recycling and dematerialization of UK society. Compared to 2004, it aims by 2016 to have improved resource productivity by about 40% (to 390,000 JPY/ton) and recycling by about 40% (to 14% of total materials use) and decrease landfill by about 50% (to 28 million tons/year).

Two complementary laws have since been enacted ([METI, 2004] and [MoE, 2007]). The Waste Management Law (2003 amendments) sets aims and objectives for waste management and defines roles and responsibilities in regards to waste prevention and management for waste generators (for commercial, industrial and construction wastes) and prefectures (for garbage collection and intermediate treatment/incineration and final disposal of bulk wastes within prefectural boundaries).

The Law for Promotion of Effective Utilisation of Resources (2001) designated key products and industries for resource saving. It has since been implemented with product-specific laws which set specific recycling targets for categories of wastes, to be realised through product stewardship schemes, levies and voluntary initiatives of government, producers and consumers.

The Eco-Town Program is one key program for the recycling-oriented society. Launched some five years before the formal enactment of the Basic Law for Recycling-oriented Society, the Eco-Town program aimed to develop innovative recycling industries in particular in cities with ageing industrial infrastructure through voluntary initiatives and financial support from the national government.

The status of the Eco-Town program was evaluated in 2010, on behalf of METI, which had also provided the bulk of the program's funding ([Fujita, 2006] and [Fujita, 2008]). Its main findings are analysed here to provide insight into the diversity of results and experiences gained in the Eco-Towns since 2007.

The Eco-Town program did not evolve in isolation. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries supports since 2002 centralised utilisation of waste biomass in cities, towns and villages, designated as 'Biomass Towns ' (MAFF, 2006).

METI also launched in 2001, 17 industrial cluster pilot projects to enhance innovation and competitiveness. Several of these have an environmental orientation and likewise some Eco-Towns display characteristics of economic cluster theory (Norton, 2007).

Problem Statement

Industrial Symbiosis is the iconic application of Industrial Ecology (e.g. (Frosh and Gallopoulus, 1989; [Ehrenfeld and Chertow, 2002] and [van Berkel, 2006])). Industrial Symbiosis is concerned with closing materials' cycles by using wastes from one facility as an alternative input for another facility. Chertow defined “Industrial Symbiosis engages traditionally separate industries in a collective approach to competitive advantage involving physical exchange of materials, energy, water, and/or by-products.

The keys to Industrial Symbiosis are collaboration and the synergistic possibilities offered by geographic proximity” (Chertow, 2000). Comparable terms have been introduced by other authors, for example regional resource ...
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