Picking Through Someone Else’s Rubbish

There are 15 families in our neighborhood, and we rotate the twice-weekly task of unlocking the “gomi” station before 6am, then coming back, cleaning it out and locking it after the garbage men come at 8am. The rules couldn’t be simpler – put out your burnable rubbish between those hours in a designated city rubbish bag. There are different days and places for disposing of plastics, cans, glass, cardboard and […]

Gifu Kakamigahara Incinerator

A five-minute drive from our house into the mountains and we’re at the Gifu Kakamigahara Incinerator. Yes, if you read Oh My Gomi – Part 2, you’ll realize this was the place I finally disposed of a bug infested, five-year-old bag of rubbish. Living near an enormous, heavy duty incinerator  The convenience of living so near to a giant incinerator outweighs the fear of toxic clouds or other environmental concerns. Okay, I realize there […]

Oh my Gomi! – Part 2

In Part 1 I talked about how the gomi (rubbish) rules had changed and that everything had to be separated and put out on fixed days between 6 and 8am. However, being unable to wake up at that crazy time of day, I often threw things out the night before. This was fine until the gomi patrol caught me. The gomi station where I had to throw out my rubbish […]

Oh my Gomi! – Part 1

When I first came to Japan, rubbish disposal was as simple as dumping everything in a bag and putting in the street to be collected later in the week. Now, I’m not just talking about kitchen scraps here, I mean anything that people didn’t want, including TVs, refrigerators and all sorts. The bubble economy had burst but people were in the habit of buying the latest technology and throwing out […]