Jul 10, 2018

Accumulating garbage


Even when I first moved to Japan and I was living alone in a fairly sized apartment, I didn't really know how to deal with my garbage. I'm not talking about the burnable stuff that can go out twice a week. As long as I didn't miss taking it out in the morning, there was never enough of it to take up much space in my apartment. When I moved in with my new family, it was the same. But recyclables were so difficult to deal with. Living on my own, I would just make sure I didn't bring home any of the plastic bottles I would eventually purchase while out and about. Instead, I would recycle them next to the vending machine or convenience store I would buy my next bottle from. I didn't buy any canned items if I could avoid it, so really it took me two years before I desperately needed to recycle anything from my place. And two years was how long I waited because I didn't know where, when or how to do it. Turns out it was the same place I put out my burnable garbage, just separated in different bags.  That isn't the case for the apartment I lived in with my family. There was a different area for recycling and the night before a member of the community would set up the bins to separate everything into.Accumulating garbage photo

If I couldn't read what went where then I just put like things together. Clear glass with clear glass and such.

Accumulating garbage photo

About every other week, we would have a pile-up of rubbish. And if I didn't put the bags of recyclables at our front door the night before, then I would forget and have to wait another two weeks for the next recyclable day. 

All this accumulated garbage inside of the apartment would have to take up our already precious and scarce space. We kept everything in smaller bins under the table I used as a kitchen counter. I hated this because the kids and I would inevitably spill and drop food which either was ignored (kids) or really hard to reach in order to clean it. So when it came to recycling day, it was a full afternoon task just to prepare. I was also the only one to rinse out the bottles or cans or jars. After rinsing there wasn't anywhere to dry it out. 



American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too


  • helloalissa

    on Jul 10

    It's something that Japan started up only around 10 years ago (I think?) while my husband was living abroad, so he still hasn't really learned how to separate recyclables here. It's so much easier when we can mix them together. We can't put out paper recycling if it's rainy... so it's been almost two months for us and the genkan is getting full.

  • edthethe

    on Jul 10

    @helloalissa When I studied abroad my host family tried to explain it, but I didn't understand you were supposed to do it on specific days. Luckily with study abroad I never cooked or anything, so most everything I bought, I dealt with the trash outside of my host family's place. To be honest, there are still somethings I put in burnable that can go in recycling. Now that I have more space I have been trying harder to do it.