Zero Waste: In this House, nothing is new

Perhaps most unusual bar of Japan’s hiding behind the eight-meter-high glass front from recycled Windows. The “Kamikatz Public House” is made entirely from recycled materials, and fits perfectly into the small town Kamikatsu. Its inhabitants want to be until 2020 completely waste-free.

The village of Kamikatsu in southern of Japan has only a few thousand inhabitants, is known but not only in their own country. Kamikatsu is famous by its rigorous zero-waste policy the villagers try to minimize their waste. Now, they’ve got a new building, that consists entirely of old or recycled materials. For the charming micro-brewery with attached pub and shop, the architect Hiroshi Nakamura won first prize in an international competition for sustainable construction.

Double window front insulated in the winter and airs in the summer.

The dark red-painted wooden structure, several functions are housed in the 115 m2 is visible from afar. The micro-brewery, which supplies the brewed beer in the pub and there is pouring is underway towards some sort of village shop. The striking 8 m-high fa├žade consists of Windows, which were obtained from abandoned houses in the area and now recycled. This brings not only a reference to the local history, the double window front insulated in the winter and cool in the summer by a clever ventilation system.

Kamikatz Public House 2016
Photo: Kamikatz Public House 2016

Inside, the architects were sustainable and inventive. The construction of the cedar wood comes from local wood waste, which was painted with the tannic acid-color the persimmon tree fruit produced traditionally in Japan. The required furniture include tags no longer used pieces from old wedding cabinets or agricultural equipment. The floor is occupied with the remaining stock from a tile factory and the walls were papered with a wallpaper from former newspaper.

34 rules: The prevention of waste is a laborious business

For the villagers, the “Kamikatz Public House” to become the meeting point and symbol of their recycling policy. The building of the brewery is privately funded and must abide by the own revenues. The mood in the village could positively impact once the new building, because the avoidance of waste is sometimes a tedious business using a variety of rules, to consider.

Kamikatz Public House 2016 - zero waste house
Main thing is not new: many different window second hand fall at the first look at the Kamikatz public house in the eye. Photo: Hiroshi Nakamura

Glass bottles must be separated by colour in Kamikatsu, whose lids are collected separately. Plastic bottles, in which soy sauce or oil was separated from PET bottles with mineral water or green tea. Everything must be washed clean and residue-free, scraped labels. Paper, cardboard, newspapers, flyers and magazines are each stacked into neat bundles and tied with cord made of recycled milk carton. 34 recycling rules must followed and everything that is not composted, must be brought into the local waste Centre.

Increased to 80% recycling rate in the village

Here, much of what the residents of Kamikatsu, is further processed into new products such as paper and fertilizer. New clothes are tailored from old fabrics and there’s the Kuru Kuru shop, where you can – you give what you no longer need, or other things take for free. Since 2003, when the municipality introduced the strict rules, the recycling rate in the village is increased to 80%. Nevertheless, there remains a rest, which should be burned, buried or shipped as batteries. Whether the stated goal to be waste-free, 100% by 2020 can be achieved, remains open.

Kamikatz Public House 2016 - zero waste
Photo: Hiroshi Nakamura

Critics argue that electricity is used for the other composting equipment and that the inhabitants of the municipality of spatially drawn apart take their rubbish by car to Central waste. In a 2008 survey, approximately 40% of the villagers were convinced not yet complete by the zero waste policy. Meanwhile have accustomed themselves clearly and there is even an eco-tourism. Here, the new brewery comes just at the right.

The House boat Waternest 100 is even almost 100% recyclable. It consists of aluminum and plywood. Photovoltaic panels on the roof take over the power supply. And high living in the eco Tower made of wood it can be soon in Amsterdam.