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Garbage Collection in Tokyo

Post: Wednesday April 1, 2015   Author : plazahomes

Getting your garbage collected in Japan may be very different from your home country. Below are the common ways to sort garbage, prepare it for collection, and the collection schedules in Tokyo's 23 wards.

It may seem complicated at first, but most apartment buildings have large communal bins and other accommodations to make it easier for you. We recommend you also check with your real estate agent, landlord, apartment staff, neighbors or local ward office for more details.

Garbage Collection In Tokyo



Sorting Garbage

Typically, there are five garbage types that will need to be separated.  We recommend you pick up or print out the charts for your ward that lists all the different groups and how to package them. In most wards, the groups are:

  • Combustibles

    food waste, old clothes, small quantities of yard waste, etc.
  • Noncombustibles

    plastic wrappers, Styrofoam, metal containers, ceramic, etc.
  • Recyclables

    plastic/glass bottles, metal cans, magazines, newspaper, corrugated cardboard, etc.
  • PET Bottles

  • Large items

    TVs, air conditioners, other old appliances, furniture, etc.
    • Generally speaking, anything that is more than 30 x 30 x 30 cm is considered a “large item”



Preparing Garbage for Collection

1. Bags

When preparing your garbage for collection, you should check with your local neighborhood/ward/district to determine which garbage bags must be used.  You can probably also find these bags at your nearest convenience store or supermarket.

2. Packing rules

There are lots of specific rules about how to package the different categories of garbage and these can vary by ward/district, but below are some basic rules of thumb.

  • Combustibles

    Put all of these together in a bag for combustibles.   You should drain any kind of excess liquid.
  • Noncombustibles

    Put all of these together in a garbage bag specifically for noncombustibles. Items like a Styrofoam food container that have food residue on it should be rinsed or cleaned off before being put in the garbage bag.
  • Recyclables

    • Bottles/Cans – These should be rinsed out before putting them out.
    • Paper – Paper should be sorted by type and bundled with a string before being put out.
  • PET Bottles

    You should check your ward’s garbage collection guide to confirm if your district collects PET bottles separately from other recyclables.
  • Large items

    Check below for more information.



Getting Garbage Collected

Each ward will have a garbage collection schedule that you can find posted in ward offices, where you purchase garbage bags, and online on the ward websites.

For combustibles, noncombustibles, recyclables, and PET bottles, follow the packing guidelines above and then place your garbage at the nearest garbage collection point on the day that it is collected.  While the ward guides do give some guidance on where collection points are, you should ask your landlord, apartment staff, or neighbors where it is to be sure you’re putting your garbage in the right place.

Also, you should confirm by referring to your ward's garbage collection schedule but you should generally put your garbage out at the collection point by 8 am on the day it is to be collected.

Recycle

Example of the collection schedule that is posted at garbage collection points.



Large items

Appliances – These must be recycled. If you bought your appliance from a shop, you should ask them to recycle it. If not, you will need to call the Waste Electric Appliances Collection Service Center at 03-5296-7200 (8:00 – 17:00) to request that it be picked up.

Here are some rough estimates for the “delivery fees + recycling fees” for appliances:

  • TVs : ¥5,000 – ¥9,000
  • Refrigerators : ¥8,000 – ¥9,000
  • Washing machines : ¥6,000 – ¥7,000
  • ACs : ¥7,000 - ¥8,000
  • Computers : ¥3,000 - ¥4,000
  • Other items : You will need to call the Large Item Collection Center at 03-5296-7200 (8:00 – 17:00) or else go to 粗大ごみ受付センター to apply.  The specific ward garbage collection guides give more details on the process.


Here are links to the garbage collection guides for Tokyo's 23 wards, grouped by region:

Central Tokyo
Bunkyo-ku How to Sort and Put Out Garbage
Chiyoda-ku Separating and Taking out Recyclables and Wast
Chuo-ku Everyday Life - Garbage and Rycycling
Minato-ku Sorting Recyclables and Waste (Full Guide)
How to separate and and dispose of recyclable resources and garbage (A4 poster)
Shibuya-ku How to Sort and Dispose of Resources and Garbage Properly
Shinjuku-ku How to separate and dispose of recyclable resources/garbage
Taito-ku 家庭の資源とごみの分け方・出し方 (Japanese)
Eastern Tokyo
Edogawa-ku The Basic Rules for Sorting and Disposal of garbage
Katsushika-ku Proper Sorting and Disposal of Recyclables and Garbage
Koto-ku 資源とごみの正しい分け方・出し方 (Japanese)
Sumida-ku HOW TO SORT GARBAGE FOR COLLECTION
Western Tokyo
Nakano-ku How to Separate Recyclable Materials and Dispose of Them
Nerima-ku 資源・ごみの分け方と出し方 (Japanese)
Setagaya-ku Recyclable Resources and Garbage
Suginami-ku
Northern Tokyo
Adachi-ku How to Separate and Dispose of Recyclable Resources and Garbage
Arakawa-ku Rules about how to take out / separate waste vary from city to city
Itabashi-ku
Kita-ku Have You Grown Accustomed to Life in Japan?
In this issue, we describe garbage collection procedures for foreign residents.
Toshima-ku 豊島区 資源回収・ごみ収集のお知らせ (Japanese)
Southern Tokyo
Meguro-ku
Ota-ku How to dispose and separate your waste and recyclables waste
Shinagawa-ku How to Separate and Dispose of Waste and Recyclables Items

Another useful link is the Tokyo 23 Clean Association, which provides links to the garbage disposal pages for each of Tokyo’s 23 wards.  Note that the various links are to the Japanese sites for each ward.

 

  

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