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As I’m sure you all know, throwing out rubbish in Japan can be a very complicated business. For me, this is always one of the most difficult things to figure out when I move to a new place, and this year was no exception.
When I first came to Japan, throwing out rubbish was quite simple. Even big things like sofas and TVs could just be put out by the roadside on the appropriate day. Actually, this led to a lot of recycling, because people used to drive around on those days and pick up stuff that other people had thrown out. My friend used to do this in a “kei van,” which he used to call “the gomi van” for that very reason.
Nowadays, throwing out “sodai gomi” is much more complicated, and in most places you have to pay to do it. I understand the idea behind this, but I don’t think the people in charge really thought it through. If you make it too difficult or expensive for people to throw things away properly, some of them will just take their rubbish to the countryside and dump it there. When I lived in Seto, I used to live near a mountain where people were always throwing away old TVs, fridges, and microwaves. At the end of the day, the city council had to send someone to pick them up anyway.
In April this year, I moved from Seto to Ono-cho in Gifu. Seto used to have a recycling centre where you could take recyclable rubbish like cans, PET bottles, and cardboard anytime you wanted. Of course, it was free. In Ono-cho, the rubbish collection system is not so convenient. Plastic is only collected once every two weeks, so if you miss the day, you end up with a month’s worth of plastic stored in your house.
I went to the town office the other day to ask about cardboard boxes. They told me that there is a paper collection, but it only happens twice a month, it’s on a Saturday, and the collection point is a long way from my house. I am often away at weekends because of conferences, so this is very inconvenient for me. I asked if there was anywhere I could take it on another day, but there isn’t. I also asked if I could throw boxes away as burnable rubbish, and the guy said “Yes, but we would prefer that you recycle them.” I wanted to scream at him, “Well stop making it so difficult, then!!”
I don’t understand why they cannot just set up a recycling centre at the town hall where people can bring stuff at their own convenience. I suppose you could say it might be difficult for old people or people who don’t have cars, but the recycling station for boxes is a five-minute drive from my house anyway, so that doesn’t make any sense.
Anyway, I was wondering what you all think about the rubbish collection system in your area. Is it likely to encourage people to dispose of rubbish properly, or is it so complicated that people give up and stop recycling?
Look forward to hearing your stories.
このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか？」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ！
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