Friday, November 11, 2016

My Life With Garbage OR How Japanese Recycle

Dear Readers, prepare to be shocked, astonished, puzzled, maybe even laugh out loud...

Except some clothes, toys and furniture, our tiny home inhabits my husband, my two kids, myself and....
a bin for milk cartons,
a bin for pet bottles,
a bin for glass bottles,
a bin for steal cans,
a bin for iron cans,
a bin for newspapers,
a bin for carton boxes (non milk ones),
a bin for batteries,
a bin for specific food packages
a bin for non-food garbage, such as old cooking pot

That's quite a lot of bins and bags! Where do they fit? They don't. We literally step on some when trying to fit into our tiny kitchen.

The worst part is in many houses and buildings you can't even discard the garbage just any time you want. There are specific days for each specific type of garbage! So, you get the joy of stumbling and smelling your waste for entire week.

Non-food garbage items, such as electronics, furniture pieces and such, actually cost money to discard. About 10$ on average. It definitely makes people discard way less, but at the same time makes them live with clutter they really don't need anymore and that cannot be used/sold (think of broken TV).

I'm all for recycling. As a matter of fact, I'm big on leading environmental-friendly and frugal lifestyle. But, while living in a small (50 square meters/ 500 square foot) apartment with 4 family members and a kitchen that can barely fit one person at a time, recycling means I lead a life of a garbage hoarder.

What do I and the rest of the population in Japan do to somewhat control the smell?
We wash every single can, bottle and even the carton boxes from the milk! Yes, literally wash very well until it is sparkling clean and neatly pack in those bins/bags and store them in our kitchen, veranda and rooms until that special day of the week when it's OK to go out and discard it. Then the cycle repeats.

How do you do it?

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