Thursday, December 6, 2012
I need to put out the trash today.
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.