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Do you find separating trash by paper and plastic a chore? Then think about the residents of Kamikatsu, a small town in the mountains of Shikoku Island in south-west Japan, who have to segregate trash into 45 different categories. At the waste collection center, there are separate bins for different types of products: newspapers, magazines, cartons, metal caps, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, spray cans, fluorescent lights, and so on. You might think this is an overkill, but Kamikatsu’s residents have a goal to achieve—zero waste, and they are already at 80 percent complete.

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