Monday, May 22, 2006


You would think it would be simple to throw away garbage, but in this part of Tokyo (Denechofu) it is anything but. In fact, separating different types of waste as required here is so time consuming that my wife and I have altered what types of food we buy because of the packaging, and how often we eat out.

In Kanagawa where we lived until just recently, we separated pet bottles, aluminum, metal, newspaper, cardboard and left the rest in "burnable" garbage. Here, we must remove milk cartons and take them to a local grocery store or convenience store for recycling. The same with pet bottles---recyclable plastic bottle that contained juice, soda, and so on. We have to separate corrugated cardboard. We also have to put plastic food wrappers and similar containers into a special container especially for this waste. There are other rules too, which I won't list. It can be tough to decide which group some types of waste fit into. To make things more difficult, regular burnable garbage is only picked up 2 times a week. The other types, once a week.

This is likely the way of the future all over the world. I remember people complaining---and often not complying with---the far simpler rules we had in the last city where I lived in Washington state.

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