Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Garbage Day, Again!

It's garbage day in my neighborhood, again.

As a very small, ve-e-e-ry crowded island country, Japan has a big problem. Garbage. Mounds and mounds and mounds of it. Millions of metric tons of it. There certainly isn't room enough to landfill it all.

So they divide and conquer. There is burnable garbage, and unburnable garbage. Big garbage, cans, bottles. Burnable garbage is divided into plastic, paper and other. The plastic is sent to local manufacturers to be burned as fuel in their power plants. Cardboard is recycled into thinner board like tissue and cereal or other food boxes, which will later be recycled into paper towels and toilet paper. That, at least, isn't recycled...

Any more...

Unburnable is divided into landfill waste, recyclable solid state and appliances, batteries and fluorescent lights. Large waste like furniture, old bicycles or rolled carpets has its own day. Cans are divided between steel and aluminum, including drink and spray cans; glass bottles split into clear, brown and other colors. These all need to be rinsed and labels removed. There's a PET bottle day.

My head's spinning, and I often forget various garbage days (as well as my anniversary, my children's names...) You have to figure out where you'll keep all this stuff until the next garbage day, too.

Here's my garbage schedule for May 2013:
May 1 - Paper, Clothing
May 3 - Burnable Garbage, Plastic PET bottles
May 6 - Plastic
May 7 - Burnable Garbage
May 8 - Unburnable Garbage, Fluorescent Lights
May 10 - Burnable Garbage
May 13 - Plastic
May 14 - Burnable Garbage
May 17 - Burnable Garbage
May 20 - Plastic, Bottles
May 21 - Burnable Garbage
May 22 - Large Items, Cooking Oils
May 23 - Steel and Aluminum Cans
May 24 - Burnable Garbage
May 27 - Plastic
May 28 - Burnable Garbage
May 31 - Burnable Garbage

17 days out of 31, with 22 categories.

Paper Day, May 1st

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