2014 Volume 123 Issue 4 Pages 556-574
Waste is an unavoidable problem when discussing an urban space. To understand the urban space of Tokyo, it is important to understand how Tokyo has addressed the waste problem. This paper examines actual conditions and future prospects for the managing Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), dividing Tokyo into the special wards area and the Tama area.
In the special wards area, the Tokyo metropolitan government constructed waste incineration facilities based on the district self-sufficiency principle (disposing of your own waste in your own ward), which were established by the so-colled Tokyo garbage war in the 1970s. However, management of MSW in the Tokyo special wards area changed greatly after responsibility for MSW shifted to the wards in 2000. First, the district self-sufficiency principle was abandoned. Second, differences in separating and recycling waste among wards occurred. Third, plastic waste was incinerated. In the future, at the waste collection stage, the door-to-door method is expected to spread among wards. Moreover, at the incineration disposal stage, although the district self-sufficiency principle was abandoned, fairness is expected to be maintained among the wards using economic instruments and considerations to ensure a regional balance. It seems that the final disposal sites will be able to take in waste for the next few decades by reducing waste generation, and carrying out ash melting and plastic incineration.
In the Tama area, municipalities established waste management systems that aimed to dispose of waste appropriately against the background of urbanization in the 1960s. Solid waste from dustboxes was incinerated in communal incinerators. Incinerated ash was filled in the final disposal site in Hinode town. However, municipalities were compelled to shift to a form of management that reduces waste as remaining final disposal sites were decreased significantly, and problems concerning sites with neighboring residents occurred in the 1990s. Therefore, some local municipalities such as Hino city in the Tama region made changes to their waste management systems, and succeeded in reducing waste for disposal. According to the results of a questionnaire given to residents of Hino city, the biggest factors of waste reduction were introducing a charge for waste collection and a door-to-door collection system. In the future, the management aimed at reducing waste will be maintained in the Tama region. In addition, the reduction of remaining final disposal sites has been slowed down by changing waste management and operating eco-cement facilities.