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The rainy season starts in July, and the summer solstice falls around July 21st every year. The summer solstice brings the year’s longest days and shortest nights to the northern hemisphere. Before and after the solstice we have lots of rain, which may cause some to feel depressed. On the bright side, various kinds of flowers such as hydrangea begin to bloom. By all means visit some parks and see the flowers, but please try to bring back your trash. This month, we will talk about proper trash disposal.


 <Trash Separation>

  How to separate household trash differs by municipality. In general, trash is divided into 4 categories: “Burnable,” “Non-burnable,” “Recyclable,” and “Oversized.” Many local governments require the use of special trash bags, which can be purchased at the supermarket. We advise you first get a pamphlet concerning trash disposal from your municipal administrative office, so as to make it easier to separate your trash. Broken glass and other dangerous items need to be wrapped in newspaper, labeled “キケン (dangerous)” in big letters, and disposed of as “Non-burnable” trash.


<Trash Disposal Etiquette>

   Some areas consider food scraps “burnable” trash, while others require separate disposal of said scraps. Regardless, please try to remove as much water content as possible. Furthermore, wash and dry all plastic containers, cans, PET bottles, etc. before disposal.


<Collection Sites>

There are designated collection sites in every neighborhood; ask your neighbors or local government if you need help locating your site. Collection days and times are different for each type of trash. Municipalities have different ways of collecting oversized trash as well, with some areas requiring you to take oversized trash to assigned disposal areas on your own.


<Trash Not Collected by Municipalities>

Certain trash is not collected by municipalities. Air conditioners, televisions, refrigerators and laundry machines, for example, cannot be collected under the Home Appliance Recycling Law. Please request that the original retailer or a replacement retailer pick up said items – recycling fees apply. You should request pick up of personal computers from the manufacturer. Fees are required for pick up of PC’s without a PC recycling stamp – these fees differ by maker. Also, please have industrial waste disposal contractors, other professionals or outlets pick up concrete blocks and tires.


“Illegal Dumping” – the disposal of trash at areas other than set locations without permission – is subject to punishment by law. Numerous municipalities have stipulated “anti-littering ordinances” prohibiting the littering of cigarette butts and empty cans on streets and other public spaces. Regardless of ordinances, let’s be considerate of one another. Let’s do what we can do to protect our earth, such as using our own shopping bag, turning down excessive packaging, and limiting waste.


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