Sorting and throwing out garbage is a serious matter
here in Japan. When we first moved into our apartment, the lady who
lives across the street came to talk to me not so much as to introduce
herself (even though she did) but to make sure we knew about the
garbage collection days. The Japanese just catapults "taking the trash
out" to a whole new level of dimension.
Four days out of a week are designated as garbage collection days.
Tuesdays for non-burnable items, Wednesdays and Saturdays for burnable
garbage, and Fridays for recyclable matters in our neighborhood.
There's always a sign at the collection point telling people what day
is for throwing out what kind of garbage. Our municipal council
delivers a pamphlet to every household each year explaining in details
the classification of garbage.
I like the way people treat recyclable things. Old newspaper is tied
up in neat little bundles for ease of handling by collection men.
Cardboard boxes are flattened and tied up also. Books and magazines get
the same attention. Most people do diligently follow the garbage day
rules, but I've spotted empty cans or paper trash stuffed in opaque
trash bags and got thrown out on burnable garbage day several times.
All garbage except recyclable items is covered with a net to prevent
crows and stray cats from digging into the garbage bags and having a
picnic of rotton swill right out in the open.
Many supermarkets have bins outside the entrance for people to recycle pet bottles, styrofoam trays and milk cartons. We can't afford not to be environmentally conscious these days anymore.
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