Households and businesses nationwide produced a record 52.36 million tons of general waste in fiscal 2000, the Environment Ministry said Friday.
Disposal of general waste, which is distinguished from industrial waste, was up 910,000 tons from the previous year, officials said.
It means that people in Japan generated a record 1.132 kg of garbage per person per day, up 12 grams from the previous record high in 1990, ministry officials said.
However, the volume of final disposal of garbage in 2000 came to 10.51 million tons, down 360,000 tons from 1999, thanks to recycling efforts, the officials said.
The ministry is mapping out a basic plan designed to halve the volume of final disposal of garbage in the 10 years from 2000 by promoting recycling.
Of the more than 52 million tons of garbage, 34.37 million tons came from households and 17.99 million tons from businesses.
The volume of general waste generated in Japan ranged from 40 million to 50 million tons a year in the 1970s and 1980s but has exceeded 50 million tons since the 1990s.
There was a slight decline following the collapse of the bubble economy, but garbage has started to increase again in recent years, the officials said.
Some 406 million tons of industrial waste was generated in 2000, up 6 million tons from the previous year.
The largest volume of industrial waste, about 426 million tons, was recorded in 1996.
About 60 percent of the industrial waste incinerating facilities that were operating in Japan as of the end of 2001 had stopped operations by last month, when the Environment Ministry toughened dioxin emission standards, the ministry said Friday.
Nationwide, 2,442 facilities either closed or suspended business because they could not meet the new standards, according to a ministry report on the incineration facilities. In December 2001, 3,917 facilities were in operation.
“There has been increased recycling of industrial waste, so the quantity of material that must be incinerated is decreasing. The reduction of the number of facilities is not a problem,” a ministry official said.
According to reports the ministry received from all 47 prefectures, there were no facilities still in operation that do not meet the new standards.
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