It’s fair to say that a lot has changed since I moved away from Osaka to my new home in Nagano. It’s a lot quieter, it’s a lot less stressful and I have more money in the bank at the end of the month. However, it’s not without its challenges, either.
One challenge I hadn’t anticipated — and on reflection, it seems embarrassingly obvious — was the simple notion of taking out my garbage.
Now, in Osaka, it was simple. There was a large dumpster on the ground floor of our apartment building and any time (day or night), we could simply take our bags of rubbish there, throw them inside and they would be collected within a day or two.
Sorting out your trash into different types, using specific bags and being sure to put it out on the right day and time were simply not considerations then. It was simple and straightforward.
I didn’t realize, however, that this is very much the exception rather than the rule. For several decades now, Japan has been a world leader in encouraging its citizens to recycle as much of their waste as they can.
Every city in every prefecture has its own regulations and rules for sorting out the trash but almost everywhere in Japan takes a far more regimented approach to recycling than Osaka.
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