In Japan, everything has to be separated, even into different coloured glass. About once every two weeks, in each area, recycling day is held. It's between 6am and 8am on the day. You can't go before or after those times. Up the road from me is a vacant lot especially for the recycling day in our suburb. On the lot, different nets, bins and signs are placed for different recyclables and "non-burnables". This is everything from plastic bottles, glass, cardboard, punctured aerosol cans (god how I hate doing that!), batteries, old clothes, potplant dirt, broken umbrellas, bits of wood, anything other than food or paper scraps really. We go and put all our items into the correct area under the watchful eyes of the "volunteers" (volunteering isn't voluntary, rather a duty). It's quite a pain, but certainly does make you more responsible for your own garbage.
While throwing it away in the normal garbage may seem tempting, you can't do that either. "Burnable" garbage must be placed in a special clear, city-specific bag. The garbage is then placed out on the street in an allocated spot (everyone's together) on the morning of collection. If there is anything in there that is recyclable or non-burnable, the collectors will not take your bag. You then need to do the walk of shame and pick up your garbage, bring it home, re-sort it and wait a few more days before throwing it out correctly. A friend of mine, living in a small city in Japan, was reported by the city garbage disposal to the school where she worked, because they worked out that it was she who was disposing plastic tampon applicators! I kid you not!
BUT, if we were talking fun recycling, well, that's really what this blog is supposed to be about, though I'm off on tangents most of the time - how I recycle kimono fabrics.
And, well, another tangent... I just got home from Tokyo. It was a real blast. I have so much to blog about - meeting Fuji Mama, the Tokyo Design Festa, my very first artist's date... but that's all going to have to wait until I get a bit of sleep. Soon I promise!