How Do Japanese Dump Trash? Let Us Count the Myriad Ways
In Yokohama, trash that escapes recycling is put in transparent bags and loaded into trucks for incineration.
Everything in Its Place
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Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Kamikatsu, Japan, has 44 categories of trash, and Masaharu Tokimoto, 76, is sometimes baffled by them. But he is still a diligent recycler.
Lipstick goes into burnables; lipstick tubes, "after the contents have been used up," into "small metals" or plastics. Take out your tape measure before tossing a kettle: under 12 inches, it goes into small metals, but over that it goes into bulky refuse.
Socks? If only one, it is burnable; a pair goes into used cloth, though only if the socks "are not torn, and the left and right sock match." Throw neckties into used cloth, but only after they have been "washed and dried."
"It was so hard at first," said Sumie Uchiki, 65, whose ward began wrestling with the 10 categories last October as part of an early trial. "We were just not used to it. I even needed to wear my reading glasses to sort out things correctly."