In Kamikatsu all food waste is required to be composted and the rest of the waste is sorted into 34 categories and recycled, either by returning items to stores (where customers receive cash for items turned in) or to a Zero Waste centre operated by the town.
The BBC reports "the scheme was adopted when councillors realised it was much cheaper than incineration - even if the incinerator was used to generate power."
"A poll showed that although the Zero Waste policy has many admirers, 40% of people weren't happy about all aspects of the scheme," the BBC report continues.
"The Mayor Kasamatsu Kasuichi is undeterred: 'We should consider what is right and what is wrong, and I believe it is wrong to send a truck to collect the waste and burn it. That is bad for the environment. So whether I get support or not, I believe I should persuade people to support my policy.'
"Now he invites other politicians around the world to follow suit."