- Kamikatsu, the first town in Japan to create almost no waste, built a recycling center out of trash.
- It’s constructed from donated windows, remnant wood, plastic containers, and other unwanted items.
- Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP used materials from abandoned buildings, local factories, and residents’ homes.
Welcome to Kamikatsu, the first town in Japan to produce almost no trash and the home of a stunning recycling center made almost entirely out of upcycled materials.
Kamikatsu issued a Zero Waste Declaration in 2003, and today, more than 80% of its trash is reused or recycled, a representative from architecture firm Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP told Insider.
With the goal of keeping its trash out of landfills and incinerators, the town commissioned Hiroshi Nakamura to design the Zero Waste Center, a sustainable community center with recycling facilities, a reuse shop, community space, and a hotel.
According to the architecture firm, the center was primarily built from remnant wood logs and cuttings.
And the community also donated the 700 windows that are patched together across the facility’s facade.
Aside from donations, community members sourced materials from deserted houses, a former government building, and a closed school, according to the firm.
The town repurposed recycled glass and pottery to make tile floors and donated materials like bricks and fabric to build the interior spaces.
Outside, a horseshoe-shaped area is used to organize waste into reusable and recyclable materials.
And reusable items are sent to the reuse shop, where everything from dishes to accessories is free, according to the architects.
Next to the reuse shop, there’s an office space where harvest containers from a mushroom factory have been transformed into bookshelves.