Recycling in my town

Our Staff Diaries

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I need to put out the trash today.

We separate our trash into different categories

Recycling Chart

Here in Miyazaki, we have to segregate our trash into about 30 different categories:  Burnables (kitchen waste, wood scraps, ..), Non-Burnables (leather, metal, plastic bags, ..) about 20 plus different categories of  Recyclables (plastic bottles, metal cans, glass bottles, paper, cardboard, milk cartons, ..). And then there are categories for Harmful (batteries, light bulbs, ..) and Hazardous (gas lighters, spray cans,..).

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

We bundle our trash neatly, and have designated areas in each street for the cleaning crew to pick them up; no trash cans, no dumpsters, no nothing! And, the recycleable trash has to be clean, otherwise it does not get picked up.

Throwing away big stuff has its own 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 am not sure if I am ready to go that far yet, but I feel we can do a bit more here. How do I put it… I want to minimize my footprint more.

About maneki88

maneki88 is a contributing editor for WAWAZA . She holds degrees in Human-Environmental Science from Ochanomizu university in Tokyo and Nutrition Science from Yamaguchi university. She is interested in yoga, natural living, cats and Caribbean percussion.
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2 Responses to Recycling in my town

  1. Meredith says:

    This sounds very good. I especially like that there are no trash can or dumpsters. Here in Seattle, Washington, the west coast of USA, we do pretty well with our recycling but I believe there is always more to learn and the Japanese way of doing things in often very smart. I would love to learn more about Japanese ways of doing all sorts of things. Your town of Miyazaki sounds delightful. I would have very much enjoyed attending the event where the farmer taught people how to extract the camellia oil out of the nuts. Maybe someday, I can come visit and enjoy the beauty, the peace and the kind people of Japan.

    • maneki88 says:

      Thank you for such nice comments. I am sure we can learn from Seattle also. I hope you will visit Japan someday soon!

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