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Japan has one of the most intricate trash disposal systems that I know of. It’s rather tedious and confusing at first, but after a little while, it becomes second nature. It is not acceptable to simply throw your trash into a single bag in Japan. Most trash can be put in transparent or semitransparent bags up to 40 liters in size sorted accordingly. Anything that does not easily fit in a 40 liter bag must be paid to be disposed of. The separation process differs from city to city, but here is a general idea taken from Wakayama city’s Garbage disposal guide:

Burnable Garbage 燃えるごみ(moeru gomi)Edit

Includes combustible garbage 可燃ごみ(kanen gomi)

  • Kitchen garbage
  • Paper diapers (please remove soils)
  • Clothes and cloth, except incombustible waste
  • materials (please remove metals)
  • Sticks (less than 3cm x 60cm)*
  • Heavily stained plastic products
  • Documents & waste paper*
  • Cds, dvds, tapes


Non-burnable Garbage 燃やせないごみ(moyasenai gomi)Edit

Includes incombustible garbage 不燃ごみ(funen gomi)

  • Ceramic ware
  • Glass products (except glass bottles)
  • light bulbs
  • Metal ware (knives, scissors, etc)
  • Electronics, small home appliances
  • Pots & pans


=Plastic Garbage プラスティック(pura)Edit

  • Plastic bags
  • Bottles and plastic bottle covers - shampoo and drink bottles, etc...
  • Trays and packs- containers of eggs, convenient store containers, etc...
  • Styrofoam - cup noodles’ bowls, etc...
  • Medicine containers


Recyclable Waste 資源ゴミ(shigen gomi)Edit

  • Glass bottles
  • Cans
  • P.E.T. Bottles


Hazardous Waste 危険物(kikenbutsu)Edit

  • Dry cell batteries
  • Mercury thermometers - Put into a clear bag and place into the appropriate container.
  • Fluorescent light bulbs - put into their original cases or wrap them in paper
  • Spray cans, gas cartridges, lighters - use contents completely