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Thread: Garbage Collection

  1. #1
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    Default Garbage Collection

    So, garbage disposal in Japan sounds more complicated than throwing it in some bags and putting it on the street... how does it work exactly? I tend to be ruthless with the amount of stuff I keep, so if my pred is a packrat I will likely want to throw a bunch of stuff out.

  2. #2
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    It depends on your area. My city has special bags for plastics and burnables and little bins for white styrofoam trays, cans, and non-burnables. Plastic bottles have to go in clear bags. You can only through certain things out on certain days, which may be only one day a month for things like cardboard and newspapers. You have to pay to throw away big stuff like furniture. Some places are fairly strict, with rules like making you write your name and address on your bags, while some places don't really care as long as it's in a bag.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by coop52 View Post
    It depends on your area. My city has special bags for plastics and burnables and little bins for white styrofoam trays, cans, and non-burnables. Plastic bottles have to go in clear bags. You can only through certain things out on certain days, which may be only one day a month for things like cardboard and newspapers. You have to pay to throw away big stuff like furniture. Some places are fairly strict, with rules like making you write your name and address on your bags, while some places don't really care as long as it's in a bag.
    That isn't too far from the system we have in my city (in Canada). We have a "green" garbage (food compost, soiled paper, coffee grounds), "blue" garbage (recyclables like paper, plastic, and aluminum cans), and "clear" (non-recyclable and non-compostable items like diapers and styrofoam). The green and blue garbage containers are collected weekly, but the clear garbage is only collected once every two weeks. Everything else you have to drive to the dump.
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    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    In my city we have:

    White bags: Burnables.

    Yellow bags: Soft plastics (e.g. plastic bags, bento containers).

    Blue bags: Hard plastics (e.g. old CDs your pred left, pop bottle tops, old tupperware your pred left).

    Red bags: Glass and ceramics.

    Green bags: PET bottles on one day and "Bin" on the other days.

  5. #5
    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    My city has:

    Burnable twice a week.
    Non-burnable once a month.
    Plastic bottles twice a month.
    Cardboard and newspapers once a month.
    Larger items whenever the guy with the kei-truck feels like doing the rounds.

    There are a few other categories, but since 90% of people in my area can only be bothered with the first two, I've never investigated further.
    ...because Japan.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    Trash is complicated and can be frustrating (I had friends who had no pickup for any trash besides burnable/nonburnable, they would have to bike the other stuff to a recycling center a few miles away). I knew a few people who didn't follow the rules at all and just threw everything away together. It worked for one of them, but the other one, an old lady went through the trash, found her address on something in there, called her supervisor at the BoE, he came, picked up the trash, dropped it off at her doorstep, and scolded her.

    So deal with trash at your own risk.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    Thanks everyone for the great info! It will certainly be an adjustment for me because where I'm from in Canada, garbage is black bags and recyclables are blue, and if you don't feel like recycling the garbage plant sorts through it anyways and picks out recyclables.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    Trash is complicated and can be frustrating (I had friends who had no pickup for any trash besides burnable/nonburnable, they would have to bike the other stuff to a recycling center a few miles away). I knew a few people who didn't follow the rules at all and just threw everything away together. It worked for one of them, but the other one, an old lady went through the trash, found her address on something in there, called her supervisor at the BoE, he came, picked up the trash, dropped it off at her doorstep, and scolded her.

    So deal with trash at your own risk.
    That is AMAZING! I hope she felt like a pile of shit.

    In our city the garbage trucks that pickup our garbage have cameras on them; so they record the contents of the trash being tossed into the dumpster. You may not be discovered if you mingle all your trash, but if you are you will be fined by the city.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    In my town we have:
    Clear bag with red printing: Burnables.
    Clear bag with blue printing: Plastics or Papers (must mark on bag)
    Bins for cans/bottles of each color/ pet bottles.
    I honestly have no idea what to do with non-burnables. They had bags, but stopped using them last fall. I still have one left, but it isn't even half full.

    Here's a strange question: what does you town say to do with aluminum foil?

  10. #10
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    My town has a metal refuse day either once a month or once every two weeks. It is actually a third use for green bags.


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    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    ...an old lady went through the trash...
    It should be noted that this is the sole purpose of old ladies in Japan.
    ...because Japan.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    It should be noted that this is the sole purpose of old ladies in Japan.
    If they aren't taking bus tours, what else would they do?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    Webstaa--my town, allegedly, has a bag for aluminum foil but my MIL says we just put it in with the burnables so I follow her lead (she used to work on a trash pick-up line).

    It's not too bad but there is quite the learning curve when you first get here (especially if you want to throw out half the junk left over in your place).
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  14. #14
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garbage Collection

    Yeah, once you get used to it, it's really not bad.

    MG is terrible about trying to throw everything into the burnable bags. I'm pretty anal about properly sorted garbage so I do what I can, but I often find myself hoping that nobody goes through my garbage. I recommend using tape to close your burnable bags, rather than ties (makes it more difficult to open and re-close them) and to top each bag with something disgusting (compost, spoiled food, cat sh*t, vomit, your own sh*t, whatever) so as to deter potential busybodies.

    My new town has a much easier system than my old town; they're pretty forgiving here, and they have a "landfill" bag into which you can pretty much put anything, which is nice.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Garbage Collection

    When you first arrive, be SUPER careful about what goes into the burnables. You can't leave it on the street if it is rejected and August and the tanuki won't be kind to the bag if you leave it outside. (or inside, for that matter)

    -and they can and WILL reject it in some places. (ie my inaka)
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  16. #16
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garbage Collection

    In my town they collect "compostable" garbage three times a week, which is nice because I don't have to have the smelly stuff sitting around growing mold.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Kdes23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arriving in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by spman2099 View Post
    That is AMAZING! I hope she felt like a pile of shit.

    In our city the garbage trucks that pickup our garbage have cameras on them; so they record the contents of the trash being tossed into the dumpster. You may not be discovered if you mingle all your trash, but if you are you will be fined by the city.
    It's actually pretty similar to what we have in Canada. Prior to moving here, people were telling me about how complicated and tedious it is to take care of your garbage. They hyped it up for more than it was worth to me.

    I think it might be a little different from location to location, but generally you have 1) burnables, 2) cardboard/paper, 3) cans, 4) bottles, 5) other.
    Where I live, if you have something like a big desk to throw out, you have to go to the combini and buy a sticker, and slap it onto the desk. This shows that you paid (via the sticker) to have the desk trashed.

    Burnables is 3 times a week (tuesday, thursday, and saturday), the others are once a week.

    It's really not as big of a deal as people make it out to be. Unless you're a lazy slob.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Garbage Collection

    I dunno what my town's rules are. My housing area has a place where you can dump whatever you need to at any point, and the garbage collectors will pick out the necessary things for that day.
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  19. #19
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garbage Collection

    I love my prefectual apartment. They take anything without question pretty much.

    I also haven't sorted rubbish since my fourth month here, and that was only because I had consumed quite a few beer cans at the time. As far as I'm concerned, with enough heat everything melts, and Japan is an incineration country
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