Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Changing the Trash Rules

In the US, we had trash pick up once a week, plus we voluntarily recycled glass, cans, and newspaper.  Recycling wasn’t required. Japan has some strict rules about trash separation and recycling.  When we first moved here, we didn’t know what kind of trash to put out each day, so we would go out to the trash cage to see what other people put out, then put out the same kind.  We soon figured out that burnable trash was on Monday, non-burnable on Tuesday and Friday, and plastic on Thursday.  In addition, recyclables – pet bottles, all colors of glass, aluminum cans, and steel cans could be put out in the recycle cage anytime.

In December, we received this two sided color page in the mail about changes our town is making to the trash pick up.
I didn’t know what it was all about, but luckily my English class students translated it for me! Some things, like food trash, leather, and clothing that used to be non-burnable trash are now burnable trash.  Non-burnable used to be picked up twice a week; now it’s once a month.

Starting in April, we have to buy bags to put out the trash.  I guess that means those who generate more trash, have to pay more.

I always try to follow the rules, but sometimes it is difficult to figure out what the rules are!  (Thank you Coopclass members.)


KimM said...

Oh my goodness. First - thank heavens your class could translate - second, looks complicated!

Queeniepatch said...

The Japanese are sticklers for rules. In this case, environmental issue, I, being Swedish and bottled fed with environmental thinking, fully agree that there must be rules and they should be followed.
More and more goods are sold in packaging and as there are so many kinds of material, sorting before disposing is necessary.
I think it is great that the City provides the residents with this kind of detailed information. Reading all the text in Japanese is a difficult task for us foreigners, but I think the illustrations give us enough info to figure out, or at least ask the help of Japanese friends (or students) to translate. Imagine this poster with text ONLY, it could just as well be about car insurance or in protest of the new airport or an invitation to a religious meeting... With the picture we get a hint at what it is all about. This is Manga culture!

Renee said...

How wonderful of your students! Our garbage is picked up every Monday with either the recycling or yard debris (as these two are picked up every other week on alternating weeks.)

With non-burnable trash being picked up twice a month in the past and now only being once a month, I could not help but wonder if that caused residence much difficulty (even with more items being burnable now.)