Managing Waste in My Town

Managing Waste in My Town

Posted by Yuri Nonaka on 6th Dec 2012

Here in Miyazaki, there is a city-wide effort to reduce waste under a program called 5-R.

  1. Refuse: Avoid accepting items that will become unnecessary trash.
  2. Reduce: Generate less trash.
  3. Reuse: Get repeated use out of things.
  4. Repair: Repair items for more prolonged use.
  5. Recycle: Separate materials properly so that they can be recycled.

We segregate our trash into about 30 different categories: burnables (kitchen waste, wood scraps, etc,) non-burnables (leather, metal, plastic bags, etc,) about 20 plus different types of recyclables (plastic bottles, metal cans, glass bottles, paper, cardboard, milk cartons, etc.) And then there are categories for harmful waste (batteries, light bulbs, etc,) and hazardous waste (gas lighters, spray cans, etc.)

The city hands out a chart (see below), which shows what goes into which category and each neighborhood has designated days for the different trash category pick up.

We bundle our trash, and have designated areas in each street for the cleaning crew to pick them up; no trash cans, no dumpsters, no anything! And, the recyclable trash has to be clean; otherwise, it does not get picked up.

Throwing away big stuff has a separate routine. If I want to throw away my old bike, it costs 1,000 yen (about $10.) I will call the city; they will tell me when they can pick it up, and send me the bill at the end of the month.

In our neighbor island, Shikoku, they segregate their trash is no less than 34 categories. I feel we should do more in Miyazaki.