The rules for trash disposal differ from place to place in Japan. Municipalities set their own rules for how to categorize burnable garbage, non-burnable waste, plastics, recyclables, and other items. Residents need to be aware of these rules in addition to the collection schedule for each type of item.
Types of Trash
- Burnable refuse
This includes anything that can be incinerated: kitchen waste, paper scraps, small bits of wood or cloth, rubber and leather items, and so forth.
- Nonburnable refuse
Items made of metal, broken glass, cups and dishes, ceramics, and so on go in this category. Depending on the municipality, nonburnables may also include electronic devices, cigarette lighters, dead batteries, and spray cans, but these may fall under a separate “hazardous items” category instead.
Bottles, aluminum and steel cans, plastic bottles, magazines and newspapers, cardboard, scrap paper, and flattened milk cartons can fall under this category. Cardboard and paper items generally need to be tied up in bundles, often with recyclable string made from paper.
- Oversized items
Home appliances, furniture, bedding, air conditioners, television sets, refrigerators, washers/driers, and computers. must be put out on certain days after contacting housing agency to arrange pickup, and is generally a paid service.
Other Rules to Keep in Mind
The rules governing how trash must be packed and put out for collection can differ greatly from place to place, but a few general guidelines are as follows.
- Garbage bags
Trash to be placed in specified garbage bags or clear bags for collection depends on the location. These can be bought at supermarkets, convenience stores, and many other outlets, and come in different sizes and separate colors indicating the type of trash that goes in each of them. Please ask our office for help if you’re not sure for this information.
- Packing burnables
Kitchen waste should be drained of as much moisture as possible before bagging, and bags should be tied tightly and placed out for collection at the proper time to prevent crows, cats, or other animals from scattering the garbage.
- Packing nonburnables
- Putting out recyclables
Cans, plastic bottles, and glass bottles should be rinsed clean. Remove labels from the outside of the containers whenever possible. Place them out for collection in bags.
- Disposing of large items
You’ll need to contact to housing agency for arrange pick up bulky trash items. We will give you estimate price by contacting to the service company and then set up your pick up appointment. Be careful to only place the item out for collection on the decided day after arranging for the service.
098-936-0885 or send e-mail for request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Check Your Local Rules and Collection Schedule
These rules and schedules differ from place to place, so you need to check them as soon as possible upon arrival in a new residence.
The rules can also differ within a single municipality depending on what neighborhood you live in, or on whether you’re in an apartment building that has a dedicated trash storage area or a house where you need to put out items individually on the appropriate days. It may also be against the rules to put trash out the night before for morning pickup to keep nocturnal creatures from making a mess.
Information on Garbage Collection Rules
The following are a few examples of city in Okinawa that provide information on trash rules for English-speaking residents. Be sure to take a look at the information and feel free to ask our office if you’re unsure about what to do!