Monday, May 18, 2015

My love/hate relationship with Amazon

In some ways Amazon has been an amazing resource to get things that I can't seem to find in Japan, either because they just don't have it here or because I can't read the packaging well enough to figure what things are.  The downside of getting packages is trying to get rid of the boxes.  I've talked about Japanese trash a little bit a few months ago but today I'm going on a full fledged rant. 

I really truly believe that recycling is a good thing.  I recycle as much as possible back in Boise.  I even save my glass bottles and take them specially to the big bins that they have for glass recycling, but I really miss my big blue can that I can chuck everything in and pull out to the curb once a week.  I understand that the Japanese system of making people sort their own recycling materials is more cost effective and I have heard from other people that if you do not sort your trash correctly, they will find you and tell you.  So far Jeff and I have not gotten yelled at which (from what I have heard) is a bit of an accomplishment.

We are ordering bunches of baby stuff right now so I got a couple of boxes from Amazon last week.  Here is what happens.

Here is my pile of Amazon boxes

This is what happened once I got all of my stuff out of the boxes

this is what has to happen in order for the Japanese trash guys to actually make it go away
Cardboard has to be bundled up and tied.  The bundles have to be no larger than 50x50x20cm.  The paper and cardboard need to be separated out by types of cardboard and paper.  So, your milk containers need to be separate from your cardboard boxes since one is corrugated and the other is not.  Oh yeah, this only goes out once a month as well so if you get a bunch of packages have fun finding places to store your cardboard until trash day.  There is no way to git rid of one type of garbage when it is a different day.

So by the end of the month our pile of cardboard looks like this.
We are always super happy for cardboard day cause we always seem to have a ton. 

Here are the trash instructions off of the Higashihiroshima city web site.
Simple, right?
This is the trash schedule.
And yes, each color is a different thing so there are 7 different types of trash.
This is what our collection of trash cans looks like in order to keep all this stuff sorted.
combustible garbage (stuff that is not recyclable and things like kitchen trash), general plastic (PET bottles are separate)

PET bottles (bottle labels have to be pulled off the bottles and the caps are recycled in general plastic), cans and glass, cardboard and paper

The overflow goes in a closet if we accumulate too much of one type of trash.

The other thing that is interesting with Japanese trash is if there is a holiday, they do not collect the trash that day and they do not have makeup days.  In Boise, for holidays, they usually make up the trash day.  That does not happen here.  If you look at the calendar you can see the days that they don't collect trash.  These are important things to be aware of.  I can tell you from experience that making fish on the wrong day when there are some bones or something that needs to go in the trash can really be a bad thing when there is no outside can.

As much as I like how much can be recycled in Japan, I am looking forward to getting back to the big blue recycle bin in Boise!

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