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Tokyo to remove last trash cans from stations next month

41 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Many people have been surprised by the paradox of Tokyo having very little litter but also very few trash cans. Finding a receptacle in the city is about to get even harder, though, as the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation has announced that it will be removing all trash cans from its stations, and very soon.

Trash cans were removed from stations on Tokyo Metro stations (Tokyo’s other subway network) in January.

The bureau says that its decision, which affects passengers using the Asakusa, Mita, Oedo, and Shinjuku subway lines, as well as the Nippori-Toneri Liner which connects Nippori and Minumadai-shinsuikoen stations, is a safety measure. “It is not possible for station staff to continually monitor the trash cans,” said the bureau in a statement. “We have resolved to remove all trash cans to strengthen countermeasures against terrorism and the like.”

In 2015, stations on the the Asakusa, Mita, Oedo, and Shinjuku lines (collectively known as the Toei Subway) switched to trash cans with clear plastic exterior sections, so that their contents could be seen, and also repositioned the containers so that they would always be visible by ticket gate employees. With no trash can-related incidents taking place in the time since, it’s unclear why the bureau would suddenly feel the need for enhanced precautions.

What is easier to see, though, is the economic benefit for the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation. In 2021 the bureau says it spent 100 million yen on trash collection/removal. Choosing to eliminate that expense, especially in a country where the majority of the population will take their trash home with them rather than litter, probably wasn’t such a hard decision to make.

On the plus side, the recycle boxes for empty drink containers will remain in place next to the stations’ ubiquitous vending machines. All other trash receptacles, though, are going away on May 9.

Source: Nihon Keizai Shimbun via Otakomu

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© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

41 Comments
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cutting jobs!

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I doubt it's for security, more like saving money

37 ( +41 / -4 )

On the plus side, the recycle boxes for empty drink containers will remain in place next to the stations’ ubiquitous vending machines.

Recycle boxes in name only as passengers will put whatever unneeded items they have in them on their way.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

What is easier to see, though, is the economic benefit for the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation. In 2021 the bureau says it spent 100 million yen on trash collection/removal. 

yeah good luck with that. We'll likely see more trash piled up in restrooms.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Completely dumb.

This madness of removing trashcans started after the Tokyo terrorist attack by Asahara Shoko back in the 90s, because of some mostly irrational and unproven fear that there could put Sarin inside of trash cans and people around the trash can could die.

Now, almost 30 years after that, after all the propaganda of "carrying your own trash" that became so effective that people now think that is normal, then they can remove every single trash can so that they never have to deal with them anymore.

But as always, story repeats itself, the government pushes for some irrational measure based on an irrational fear which ends up becoming a permanent measure which is no longer related to the original reason why they were removed.

10 ( +20 / -10 )

This is very good about Japan. Your rubbish, you take home. Let the public place be clean full of good environment.

In London, lot of trash cans but full of litter that hasn't be picked up by the council cleaners for days because they are fed up. Even with trash cans, too many rubbish littering around, bad for your health, esp with children and dogs.

-26 ( +7 / -33 )

@Backpacking Nepal: Your statement is deeply flawed. You say that London has many trash bins, but they're not emptied because the people employed to do it don't want to. And this, in some way, is a reason to remove trash cans from Japan? Perhaps people could actually do the job they're being paid tax-payers money for?

10 ( +20 / -10 )

The people will unite in civil disobedience and force a policy change by leaving their trash in stations... Wait... Forgot that we are in Japan.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

I think this is better, I for one don't want to bring trash all the way to my house. But some people abuse these kind of things, like still throwing their trash even though it's full.

Problem will be, these same abusive people will just leave their trash somewhere hidden like the restroom.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

“We have resolved to remove all trash cans to strengthen countermeasures against terrorism and the like.”

BS. They'll be shrink-wrapping passengers next.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

They will still need staff to deal with trash, but instead of in one easy to deal with location the trash will be evenly distributed throughout the whole station. In toilets, on ledges, behind pillars, under seats, by jihanki, everywhere.

Many people are completely unable to transport their own trash for any time or distance whatsover and will selfishly make it 'Someone Else's Problem' immediately.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It’s just going to end up being covertly dumped in a 7/11 family mart or lawsons bin ….

7 ( +10 / -3 )

How absurd. Might as well remove the coin lockers too then. This feels less like a safety measure and more like a "we're trying to downsize and cut costs at the expense of commuters' convenience". Twats.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Taxes going down with it?

The burden will only be moved onto kombini like it always has since the 90's...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

We have resolved to remove all trash cans to strengthen countermeasures against terrorism and the like.”

BS excuse to justify how pathetically stingy they are. It’s just silly measure to reduce further their costs without any regard for consumer service quality and any consideration for the fact that since people are paying taxes, they deserve good public services including the availability of trash cans.

But the robots Japanese will throw a shoganai up into the air and continue to pay their due taxes without any sense of criticism.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

in the toilet or in the recycle bins next to the vending machines, thats where the trash will go next.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

“Recycle boxes in name only as passengers will put whatever unneeded items they have in them on their way.”

perhaps selfish people do that. People that I know here don’t do that. I dont do that. Bring your trash home. Separate and recycle!

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Thats coz they dont wanna pay or organize garbo dudes to pick it up. The gov here are so cheap thats why parks are grassless as its no maintainance. Same as no trash cans. Tight asses

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Has anyone else seen an uptick in the amount of trash people are leaving on trains these days? Particularly on or just below the seats themselves? I take four trains to get to work everyday, and it feels like it's starting to become a daily occurrence of finding trash on at least one of them. I'd say this stinginess on the train lines' part is already not turning out so well...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Money saving move. I just take it into the toilet and after doing my business forget to take it back with me. No guilty conscience whatsoever. What's the other option the government prefers, we all stop buying things from conbini's, Starbucks etc.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Good idea this will only make the Tokyo rats more bolder. LOL little trash but a huge population of rats!!

Many people have been surprised by the paradox of Tokyo having very little litter but also very few trash cans. Finding a receptacle in the city is about to get even harder, though, as the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation has announced that it will be removing all trash cans from its stations, and very soon.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

 In 2021 the bureau says it spent 100 million yen on trash collection/removal.

It is understandable why JR company remove trash cans from stations.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

But! I’ll bet the vending machines will still have trash cans. Fail!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Agreed @Wobot 5:03pm And with the money they save they can then afford to fix those uneven & missing tiles that send the blind off the edge of the platforms and install adequate barriers to prevent drunks & ruffians from shoving the unsuspecting off the platforms onto the rails.

*- @Wobot 5:03pm: “I doubt it's for security, more like saving money.” -*

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I can see there being a lot more rubbish being dumped on the platforms now, this idea of removing the waste bins is pretty ridiculous to me.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Japanese government has it easy to create inconvenient laws for the citizens because it is a "shikataganai" society.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It's fine. That's what Starbucks, 711, Lawson and recycle bins next to vending machines are for anyway.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Only at the beach.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

We have resolved to remove all trash cans to strengthen countermeasures against terrorism and the like.”

May as well close the bathrooms too... That will save even more money....

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

More stopped up toilets--plumbers find ways of wrappers and shredded Styrofoam cups...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Unless AUM or some other domestic homegrown right-wing group is making a comeback, there is no terrorism. Japan is just not significant on the international stage. Can they just admit they don't want to spend money on clearing the garbage?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

There’s no way I am

putting a snotty tissue back in my pocket…

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I feel overall Japan is losing on this, I know we don't really have a walk and eat culture here but there is a lot of instances where I would be interested in buying something from a stand but choose not to because I don't want to just stand around there eating because it's the only place where I can throw away the trash and instead I end up buying nothing.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

That authentic Japanese feeling of walking around with pockets full of trash..

Trash disposal is one of the most annoying things in Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

In the UK there is litter everywhere. Takeaway packaging, dog poop, dog ends, sweet wrappers, broken glass, cans, bottles. So many people here have no standards at all.

I have spotted some rubbish in Japan, including flytipping, but generally not as much. Staying in an entertainment district (between a strip club and a love hotel) was eye-opening in more ways than one, as there was quite a bit of litter. Most was regularly/eventually cleaned up, but it certainly wasn't stereotypically 'Japanese clean'.

JR are saving some cash as their income will have dipped with reduced commuters and no tourists. It's a small price to pay if it keeps lines and stations open. Once a community loses a station, or worse, a whole line, there is no coming back. Hang on to your rail infrastructure. And hang on to your rubbish. Shops that sell snacks and places where it is consumed (like parks) do need to retain their bins or trade will dip. Vending machine recycling bins rarely have enough space in them and are often full. They need to be a lot bigger.

I hope the trains will retain their onboard recycling/waste bins as most commuters snack and drink on the longer journeys and use them responsibly.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Again ?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I just smell trains packed with random smells, even more cans and FAMI-CHIKI wrappers in my face as I'm peeing, and more garbage in the streets. These law-makers sure got it easy in this country. Whatever they say, goes. No matter how senseless it is.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Another backwards idea....good luck cleaning trash off the streets

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tourists will not understand and as they are unused to carrying trash around all day and taking it home, it will be dumped somewhere. Carrying empty or half finished ekiben off the shinkansen and being unable to find a bin, it will either go into a recycling bin or as others have mentioned, in the restrooms.

Not a good move, and may end up making train stations much less clean and tidy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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