Report: 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Multicountry Study Mission, July 7-11, 2014, Tokyo, Japan

Group photo of participants: Multicountry Observational Study Mission on 3Rs, Tokyo, Japan, July 7-11, 2014

Participants of Multi-country Observational Study Mission on 3Rs, Tokyo, Japan, July 7-11, 2014


The main objective of the project is to observe 3R applications and best practices of waste management in Japan as well as to analyze how Japan was able to successfully implement this system and find technologies to compliment the program.

The main objective in participating in this study mission is to learn the current practices of Japan and other participating countries in advocating the 3Rs in their respective countries and replicate technologies/strategies that are applicable in the Philippines.


Mr. Crispian Lao:

To develop understanding of waste management in key Japan cities through 3R and explore how the same can be adapted in the Philippines to address our own solid waste management issues and improve the implementation of RA 9003.

Ms. Patricia Orante:

This Study Mission would be very useful in terms of knowledge building and technology sharing to help Quezon City to further improve its solid waste management services for the residents. These initiatives have proven to provide alternative livelihood to the indigent residents of the city and help increase the City’s waste diversion rate.

At the end of this study mission, the expectation is to be able to create or draft pioneering project proposals/plans on solid waste management based on the learnings, observations and experiences gained. These will be further evaluated to determine which technologies/strategies are appropriate to be implemented in the City.


24 participants from 13 countries. Two Filipino participants, from the National Solid Waste Management Commission Crispian Lao and the local government represented by Quezon City EPWMB’ Patricia Orante.


First Day

1. What is 3R? Current Status of 3R Strategies and Implementation and Future Prospects of 3R in Japan by Dr. Masaru Tanaka
– Dr. Tanaka empasized that 3R is a way of life and is a combination of creating policies/guidelines, communicating with the residents for its implementation, and putting up equipment/technology to support the goal which is to reduce the wastes generated and disposed.

2. 3R Policy in Japan: Towards Sustainable City by Dr. Ryutaro Yutsu
– Before,residents complained about the sold waste practice of the country and insisted on NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).
– As response to this, Japan implemented a system wherein the wastes from one City/Ward cannot be disposed to another City/Ward.
– Another initiative was the passing of the 3Rs Law in Japan wherein everyone was instructed to implement 3Rs initiative.
– They emphasized that taking care of the environment is a very important governmnet service and should be undertaken no matter what the cost.

3. 3R Best Practices from Tokyo, Kawasaki and Shibusshi
– The Cities have implemented different cllection days for different types of wastes.
– Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Campaign materials are distributed regularly to remind residents regarding the collection shedule.
– Mostly all cities ask their residents to the take care of their own biodegradable wastes thru composting while non-biodegradable wastes will be collection as scheduled.
– All cities share the problem of scarcity of land for more landfills, thus they are prolonging their lifespan thru implementation of proper solid waste management such as waste segregation, encouraging industries/manufacturers to limit  or change the matrials of the packaging of their products, putting up incinerators, recycling facilities  and other equipments that help further reduce the volume to be finally disposed at the landfill.

4. Waste Management Based on 3R Approach by Ms. Ainhoa Carpintero Rogero
– Waste is a global problem because of increasing recorded volume of wastes being disposed daily.
– However, to date there is no international official or standard method   on how to conduct a waste analysis and characterization study (WACS)
– Countries were encouraged to do theirpart in educating residents to manage their wastes.

Second Day

1. Visit to Waste Collection and Management Center of Minato-Ku
– The group was able to observe the collection system of Minato-Ku in Tokyo.
– It was noted that despite all efforts of Minato-Ku, some residents still do not follow the collecition schedule.
– Compactors were used for garbage collection.
– Collection points/areas were designated.
– During the day of the visit to their waste management facility/office, Minato-Ku was not operating their incinerator.
– Other recycling facilities were observed.
– During the open forum, it was noted that Minato-Ku does not keep track if they are earning from the facility. Rather, they are focused on making sure that the volume of wastes disposed is reduced.
– Operated by the local government/wards.

2. Presentation of country papers.

Third Day

1. Site Visit to Koutou-Ku
– Koutou-Ku, similar to other cities/wards, is also implementing dedicated collection schedules for different types of wastes.
– Operated by the local government/wards.
– Combustible wastes are brought to the incinerator facility which is also a waste to energy facility.
– A mechanized rake is used to mix the collected combustible wastes to distribute the kilo-calories which is important in the waste-to-energy process.
– For non-combustible materials such as papers, PET bottles, glass, metals and aluminums, these are separated and brought to proper recycling facilities.
– Old clothes and bags are also separated and brought to centers where they may be sold or reused.
– Conveyors are used and people manually sort items to ensure that the right types of wastes are sorted.
– Aside from manual sorting, another machine was installed that could detect color and seperate  the colored glass from the clear glass.
– Another seperate machine was installed where a magnet seperates the metal cans from the aluminum cans for  better segregation.
– Bulky wastes like furnitures are collected on a different schedule and are repaired by the local government/wards to be reused.

2. Site Visit to Tokyo Super Eco Town

Electronic Waste Facility
– Privately operated by Re-Tem Corporation
– Collects electronic wastes from different cities/wards
– Metals, plastics and other recyclable materials that were recovered are brought to recycling facilities.
– Collected hazardous wasts, though seldom, are brought to proper facilities for proper treatment prior to disposal.

Food Waste Recycling Facility
– Privately operated by Bioenergy Corporation
– Collects biodegradable wastes and converts them to energy.
– Personally visited by the Japan Prime Minister because of the eletricity generated by the facility.

Construction and Demolition Debris Facility
– Privately operated by
– Companies or residents contract them to collect their construction/demolition debris for a certain fee.
– Conveyor is used to sort the debris.
– Processed Construction/Demolition debris are reused are onstruction materials again.
– In cases that recyclable materials were mixed, these are recovered and brought to proper recycling facilities.

Fourth Day

1. Site Visit to Kawaguchi City
– Operated by the local government/wards
– They have the same system with Koutou-Ku

2. Break-out and Preparation of Action Plans
– Dr. Tanaka explained that there are three aspects in implementing 3Rs.
– Social which deals with people factor and how to communicate with them
– Economical which approaches the issue with concern on how much a country is willing to pay for better services
– Technical which puts into consideration the type technology that is applicable to a certain area.
– Based on the learnings, the participants were instructed to choose among the three and come up with an action plan on how to implement the 3Rs focusing on the chosen aspect.
– Mr. Lao chose the technical aspect  and Ms. Orante chose the social aspect.

3. Networking: Presentation of Different Companies
– APO invited different companies that specialize in incinerators, recycling, trucking and other technology for solid waste management:
– Takuma Corp.
– Hitachi Zsen Corp.
– JFE Engineering
– Ebara Environmental Plant Corp. Ltd.
– Nippon Steel
– Sumikin Engineering
– The participants were given time to socialize with the representatives of the companies and ask questions such as facility requirements, how much investment is needed to start the facilities, support and trainings that these companies could provide.

Fifth Day

1. Presentation of Action Plans per Group
– The Social Aspect Group 2 (our group) was awarded the Best Presentation.

2. Certificate Presentation and Closing


Mr. Crispian Lao:

A better understanding of the practice and promotion of 3Rs as well as technologies for final disposal, particularly on waste to energy and biomass to reduce final waste disposal. The resource persons and sites selected was very comprehensive and complete, although very hectic that allowed little opportunities for sharing.

Ms. Patricia Orante:

The study mission was a very informative project. We learned a lot on how Japan was able to implement the 3Rs primarily because the country created a specific national law that instructs everyone to practice and make it a part of their daily lives. Another factor to their success is the support of their residents and concern for the environment.

Being a developing country and with existing laws that prevent overspending, the Philippines cannot immediately implement the “no matter what the cost” principle. However, the study mission gave me an insight that cleanliness and proper solid waste management should still be one of the top priorities of a country. Waste management is expensive, but until we found a way to reduce the volume of wastes generated, we would have to spend for its reduction, collection and proper disposal.

The idea of putting up an incinerator in the country should be considered because similar to Japan, land for landfills are scarce in the Philippines. Existing laws may prevent the country from putting up an incinerator facility. But still, the country should find ways on how to address the growing concern on garbage.


Mr. Crispian Lao:

Come up with second round mission to develop specific action plan and goals to promote 3R in the region and monitor achievements by continuing to share success stories.

The learnings will be shared with both members of the commission as well as the private sector and will be an integral tool to develop programs for implementation. Incineration which can be tapped as Waste to Energy programs in the Philippines will certainly address the continuing issue of landfill scarcity and energy shortage but the strict implementation of segregation at source and segregation and efficient collection as required by law as well as the active participation and commitment of the LGUs and the citizenry remains critical.

It is pertinent that the law is strictly enforced and it is high time that the agency resopnsible for going after non-compliant LGUs be clearly identified. Penalty provisions must apply and the NSWMC fund must be established and used to promote best practices, assist those in need and reward those who fully comply.

Ms. Patricia Orante:

For APO study missions
– More time for each presentation for better appreciation of the technology

Potential Action Steps
– Creation of more IEC campaign materials that are easy to read and regularly distribute these to the household level
– Standardization of WACS methodology
– Review of existing laws and policies and update/ammend as needed
– Enforcement of local an d national laws.


Commissioner for Recycling Sector
National Solid Waste Managemetn Commission

Head, Solid Waste Social marketing and Advocacy Unit
Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department
Quezon City Government



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