Wind turbines generate power on and off the coast of the Hibiki Recycling Area of the Eco-Town.
As the Secretariat of EACAC, ICLEI East Asia visited on 18 and 19 September 2017 Kitakyushu, a Japanese city known for its successful transition away from polluting industries and its active engagement in international cooperation. Arranged by the Kitakyushu City Government, ICLEI East Asia attended a guided tour of the Kitakyushu Environment Museum, was convened to a meeting with the Environment Bureau of the city and the Kitakyushu International Techno-cooperative Association (KITA), and learnt about the city’s Eco-Town Project by visiting the project area.
Kitakyushu Environment Museum and Eco-House
Nationally, the city has been well-known for its advanced industrial development and throughout the 1960s, was ranked the most polluted area in Japan. The industrial wastewater discharged into the sea made the Dokai Bay severely polluted and for years it was nicknamed the “Sea of Death”. The Environment Museum records the city’s 50-year experience in overcoming pollution and shares its vision for future development; the Eco House, on the other hand, showcases how the city and citizens could move towards an energy-saving lifestyle by supporting local products, merchandise made with recycled materials, and latest environmental friendly technologies within their daily life.
Children learn about the possibilities of recycled products through quiz and interactive facilities in the 1990s
section of the Environment Museum.
The sun shines in on the Eco-House, with a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle charging station seen through the window.
Kitakyushu Eco-Town Project
With the aim of constructing a resource-recycling-based society, the Kitakyushu Eco-Town Project was developed in 1997, utilizing industrial infrastructure and technological capabilities the city accumulated throughout its long history of manufacturing. Kitakyushu is well-known for its long and diverse list of recyclable materials in Japan, for which the Eco-Town plays a very large role. All together, the Eco-Town includes the Practical Research Area, the Eco-Town Center for public education, the Comprehensive Environmental Industrial Complex, and the Hibiki Recycling Area. ICLEI East Asia took the opportunity in Kitakyushu to receive a detailed lecture on fluorescent tubes and PET bottle recycling in two of the Eco-Town’s recycling plants.
Further Cooperation on Training Provision
Kitakyushu has been an active ICLEI Member since 1992 and is devoted to environmental improvement through international cooperation. The city is very willing to share its pollution management experiences to cities faced with similar challenges. Under the framework of EACAC, the Kitakyushu Environment Bureau and ICLEI East Asia are now seeking to create training opportunities for other EACAC cities in the coming year, with a specific focus on air pollution control, waste management, and circular economy. KITA, as an implementing agency of Kitakyushu on international training and technical cooperation, will work closely with ICLEI East Asia to develop the curriculum.
ICLEI East Asia invited for a ride in a hydrogen powered vehicle produced in Kitakyushu; pictured here
with the International Environmental Strategies Department of the Kitakyushu Environment Bureau.
The breakdown and procedure for the recycling of material and disposal of waste in Kitakyushu.