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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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55 Comments

  1. YU on Monday November 12th, 2012 at 06:48 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    In my area burnable rubbish is collected twice a week, plastic is once a week, and paper collection is twice a month.
    私の住んでいる地域では燃えるゴミは週二回、プラスティックゴミは週一回、紙類は月二回収集されます。

    What bothers us the most is ごみ当番. Anyone who is a member of the 町内会 has to do the job on a rotating basis. Actually, I have never done it yet, but my husband always does.
    一番面倒だなあ~と思うのはゴミ当番です。町内会のメンバーはみんなローテーションでやらなくてはなりません。実は私はまだ一回もやったことなくていつも主人がやっているんですけどね。

    Apparently, there are lots of people who don’t know how to separate rubbish for recycling. Some of them might be just lazy to do it, but some might find the rubbish collection rules too complicated and give up and stop recycling, as David says.
    主人の話では本当に無茶苦茶なゴミの分別をする人が結構いるみたいです。面倒くさいからやらない人もいれば分別が複雑過ぎてやり方が分からない人もいるのかもしれませんね。

    To be honest, I’m not really for recycling anything and everything, I suppose you could say I’m a bad person, though… In my opinion, recycling costs money and energy a lot.
    正直言って私は何でもかんでもリサイクルすることにあまり賛成ではありません。こんなことを言うとバッシングされそうですが(笑)。リサイクルってすごくお金とエネルギーを使うと思うんですよね。

    Apart from that, for example, SEIYU near my house started to charge us for the plastic bag since last month “for protecting environment”.
    その他にも、例えば我が家の近くの西友で先月からレジ袋が「環境保護のために」有料化されたんですが。。。

    However, I don’t think it makes sense at all, because people just will need to buy plastic garbage bags on the market instead.
    でも、それって環境保護になっているとは思わないんです、だってレジ袋をタダでもらえなくなったらみんな代わりに市販の有料のプラスチック製のゴミ袋を買うようになるだけじゃないんですかね?

    That means, we anyway use plastic bags to dispose rubbish in both cases. So, I’ve been wondering since long what the merits of being charged plastic bags at the supermarket are… Does anyone have any ideas? I guess supermarkets have some benefits from that, though…
    てことは、いずれの場合も結局ゴミを捨てるのにプラスチック製のゴミ袋を使っているわけです。だから今までず~っとレジ袋有料化のメリットって一体何なの?と思ってたんですが、どなたかご存知ですか?スーパーは「環境保護」を謳ってゴミ袋有料化で得してるとは思いますが。。。

    Anyway, I’m not saying that we don’t need to recycle anything at all, but I think we’d better start thinking about which ones are really environment-friendly and cost effective, and which ones are not.
    とにもかくにも、全くリサイクルなんて必要ない、と言っているわけではありません。が、どのリサイクルが本当に環境保護になってしかも費用に見合うメリットがあるか、どのリサイクルはそうでないのかについてそろそろ考え始めるべきなのではないでしょうか。



  2. Biwa on Monday November 12th, 2012 at 09:21 PM

    Hi David,

    Sorry,this comment has to be posted in the previous entry, but I was too late. Thanks for your explanation. John Wayne was a good example for me to understand. I think I got it. I’ll put some Japanese here for those who might not be sure about the rule. (or was it only me that didn’t understand?)

    「住んだことがある」または「住んでいました」の訳として以下の3通りが考えられる。但し、used toについては具体的な「期間」を表す語と一緒に用いることは出来ない。
    また「過去形」を用いる場合は、あとに「期間」や「時期」を表す語を付けないと不自然に聞こえる。特に「経験」を表すような文意の場合は主語がすでに亡くなったように聞こえる。

    My friend has lived in various countries.
    My friend used to live in various countries.
    My friend lived in various countries when she was young.

    Hope I’m right this time.



  3. Biwa on Monday November 12th, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Hi everyone,

    In my place, burnables are collected twice a week, and all the others like plastic, PET bottles, glass bottles and cans, paper(newspaper/magazines/cardboard) are collected once every week. Except one day for the burnables, they’re all collected on weekdays, so I don’t feel so much inconvenience so far.

    However, I hate seeing those rubbish piles covered with green nets to avoid crows. It seems like some of the very modern apartments have a place/huge bin to store those rubbish, so I guess the residents can dispose them anytime at their convenience, and it’s also nice because you don’t have to see those ugly piles.

    For those who want to dipose recyclables but just can’t because of the collecting day like David, I wonder if the convenience stores can be one of those collecting spots. They all have a place to stock cardboard which contained the merchandise, and I guess the whole-salers’ trucks are collecting them more than once a week. Isn’t this a good idea?



  4. YU on Monday November 12th, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > It seems like some of the very modern apartments have a place/huge bin to store those rubbish, so I guess the residents can dispose them anytime at their convenience, and it’s also nice because you don’t have to see those ugly piles.

    My brother bought a condo(very modern one) in Tokyo two years ago. He lives on the 22nd floor and it seems that every floor has such a place(a room with double doors) to store those rubbish and evey day or every other day someone comes to collect all kinds of rubbish. I wonder if they are sent from a private garbage collecting company… Anyway, as you say, my brother goes to the room to dispose garbage anytime he likes.

    > I guess the whole-salers’ trucks are collecting them more than once a week. Isn’t this a good idea?

    You mean, the wholesalers’ trucks should collect cardbord boxes disposed by the public(like David) for free?
    If so, I don’t think they like to collect them for free because it will need labor costs, petrol expense and so on…
    I don’t think convenience stores don’t like to store other people’s rubbish, it’s a bit dangerous and troublesome for them, however, they may do it if you pay.



  5. YU on Monday November 12th, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    【correction】

    > I don’t think convenience stores don’t like to store other people’s rubbish

    I don’t think convenience stores like to…



  6. Anne on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 05:53 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    In my area, situation is almost same as YU and Biwa.
    As for recyclable rubbish, plastic containers and packages are collected once a week at each household, and others are collected once a week at collected stations.
    私の地域では、状況は、ほぼYUやBiwaと同じです。
    資源ごみについては、プラスティック資源は、週1回各家庭の前に出しますが、そのほかの資源ごみについては、週1回、指定の集積場所に出します。

    Non burnable rubbish is collected once a month at each household.
    不燃ごみは月1回各家庭の前に出します。

    One thing bothers me is some of the non burnable rubbish were changed into burnable ones a couple of years ago. This sorting is very complicated and irritating.
    ひとつやっかいなのは,1,2年前に不燃ごみの一部が可燃ごみへと変更になったこと。  この区分けは、すごく込み入っていて、イラッときます。

    >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. ーーーーI agree with you, but the government or each prefectural office hesitate setting up the center besides the present system because of the cost for setting up the place and labors.
    賛成です。でも、政府及び,各県は,現在のシステムのほかにこうしたセンターを用意するのには,設置費用と人件費がかかるのでためらいがあるのだと思います。

    Hi YU,
    >I don’t think it makes sense at all, because people just will need to buy plastic garbage bags on the market instead.—-In Nagoya, it started several years ago.( I forgot the exact yea,thought…) I’m accusted to bringing my own bag when I go shopping. There’s no problem for me. I guess many of plastic bags are disposed just as rubish, so I think bringing each persons bag is a good idea. Having said that, this is mainly applied for grocery corner,right?  At least,in Nagotya, it is.
    名古屋では、これは数年前に始まりました。はっきりした年は忘れましたが。。。買い物に行くのに、myバックを持参するのには慣れていて、なんの問題もありません。 思うに、プラスティックバックの多くは、そのままゴミとして捨てられるのでは?なのでバック持参はいい考えだと思いますよ。  そうはいっても、これおもに食糧品売り場に適用されていますよね。少なくとも、名古屋ではそうです。

    I’m going to be away from home for a while, so see you in two weeks.
    David, thanks in advance for your feedback. I’d like to read it later.

    Anne



  7. Anne on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 07:11 AM

    訂正;
    >others are collected once a week at collected stations.—others are collected once a week at collection stations.

    In Nagoya, there are places where you can take recyclable rubbish like cans, PET bottles; recycle center or some supermarkets.

    >Even big things like sofas and TVs could just be put out by the roadside on the appropriate day—Concerning this, I heard an interesting story. A guy from a foreign country pick up TVs, fixed and sold them again to people from foreign countries. He earned quite a few money! Of course, it’s not the story after the recycling system has started. It’s really a spirit of recycling,isn’t it?

    By the way, I’m going on a Turkey tour with my husband. We are flying to Beijing tonight, we’ll wait an hour and a half there and then head for Abu DHabi. After arriving there, we transfer to a domestic airline for Istanbul. It’ll be a long flight.



  8. Biwa on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 08:14 AM

    Hi Anne,

    Wow! A trip to Turkey? Lucky you and have a pleasant trip!

    Hi YU,

    >however, they may do it if you pay.

    I guess, that is the biggest point to be considered. I thought of this idea because our 子供会 collects those recyclables to make money for children’s events like 盆踊り大会and 餅つき大会. I used to do it when my children were in elementary school, and we took turns collecting and sorting them once a month. I’m not sure exactly how much money they made, but I thought that the convenience stores would like to do it as long as they already have a collecting system for their own.
    As you say, if the quantity becomes too much, it will be likely to affect their current collecting system. However, if it costed to dipose, people would never bother to bring them all the way. Though, I still think that it would be a good way to improve the company’s image.



  9. YU on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 09:11 AM

    Hi Anne,

    > I guess many of plastic bags are disposed just as rubish, so I think bringing each persons bag is a good idea. Having said that, this is mainly applied for grocery corner,right?

    Yes, you’re right, but that’s what I exactly wanted to point out this time.
    Anneの言うことは正しいと思います。でもまさにそれが私が今回指摘したかったことです。

    The point is the ”unnecessary” number of plastic bags that supermarkets offer us. I have to admit that a lot of people end up with disposing them as rubbish, as you say. I often wonder why they give us that many.
    ポイントはスーパー側がくれる「必要以上の量の」レジ袋だと思うにです。Anneが言うように多くの人がその要らない袋を捨てる羽目になっていると思います。私も何であんなにくれるのかよく不思議に思っています。

    However, I think it would be more customer-friendly and eco-friendly if they just offered us the “appropriate” number of plastic bags for the amount of our shopping.
    でも、スーパー側が客の買い物量に見合った枚数のレジ袋を提供する限りそれは環境にも客にも優しい、ということになるのではないでしょうか?

    Eco(My) bags can be certainly eco-friiendly when you carry your purchases other than food, but I don’t think no one use Eco-bags to dispose kitchen garbage or burnable rubbish in this country after all, that is the point. Don’t you think so?
    エコバッグは食料品以外の購入品を入れる場合は確かに環境に優しいと思います。でも結局キッチンの生ゴミや燃えるゴミをエコ(マイ)バッグに入れて捨てる人はいないと思います。そう思いませんか?

    So, finally, we anyway need the same number of plastic (garbage) bags to dispose those kind of rubbish unless you have a garbage disposal at home.
    だから結局のところ家庭にディスポーザーが設置されてない限り同じ量のプラスチック製のゴミ袋が必要なわけです。

    By the way, I have a feeling that “garbage disposal” hasn’t been spreading very much.
    ところでディスポーザーって一向に普及が進んでいる気がしないのですが。

    Today a variety of plastic ゴミ袋 are still sold at drug stores, so I wonder what is the good of being charged plastic shopping bags at supermarkets and using Eco-bags except transporting groceries from the supermarket to your home.
    エコバッグが普及した今日でも相変わらず様々な種類のプラスチック製ゴミ袋がドラッグストアで販売されています。だからスーパーのレジ袋の有料化やエコバッグの利用に「日用雑貨品をスーパーから自宅へ持ち帰る」、という以外にどんな効用があるのかなあ、と思うんですよね。

    By the way, are you going to Turkey with your husband? Lucky you!! I’m looking forward to hearing your interesting stories of your travel.
    Have a safe journey!



  10. YU on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Hi David,

    > 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.

    Do you mean you don’t need the current collecting systems for recyclable staff at all? If you mean so, not everyone would bring them to the place properly if they were abolished, I think.
    現行の収集制度はいらないってことですか?もしそうなら全員が全員きちんとその場所へ持って行くとは思えないです。

    Setting up a recycling centre “at the town hall”? Why there? Because it is a “very public” place?
    どうして町役場に設置するんですか?公共の場所だから?

    Anyway, I wonder why you just don’t tear your cardboard boxes to pieces and throw them away as burnable rubbish.
    とにかくなぜダンボールをちぎって可燃ごみとしてださないのですか?

    As the town office staff said, it isn’t a bad thing to do so at all, though they can’t be recycled any more… Too troublesome? Or do you have any thousands of cardboard boxes at home??
    役所の人が言うようにそうすることは別に全然問題じゃないと思いますが。(リサイクルはできませんが)面倒くさすぎるから?それとも家にものすごい量のダンボールがあるとか?(笑)

    I don’t think everyone brings them to a place like that individually is very eco-friendly because most of them will need to use a car to transport them.
    みんながバラバラにそういった場所に持って行くのは「環境に優しい」と思いませんが。ほとんどの人が運搬に車を使うことになると思うので。

    > but the recycling station for boxes is a five-minute drive from my house anyway, so that doesn’t make any sense.

    For most people, the recycling station for boxes is closer than going to your town hall, I think you’re just unlucky. So, why don’t you complain to your city about that?
    ほとんどの場合リサイクルステーションは役所より近いのでは?(あなたは)アンラッキーなだけだと思います。その点を市に訴えればどうですか?



  11. David Barker on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Hi YU,

    I’m not suggesting that they abandon the current system, but I think they should also have a central place where people can take items for recycling at their own convenience. The town hall where I live has a lot of space around it, so it would be easy to do.

    “Anyway, I wonder why you just don’t tear your cardboard boxes to pieces and throw them away as burnable rubbish.”
    That’s what I’m going to do from now on. The point I was making is that if the city wants me to recycle, they should make it as easy as possible for me to do that.

    “I don’t think everyone brings them to a place like that individually is very eco-friendly because most of them will need to use a car to transport them.”
    Most people have to use cars to take their rubbish to the collecting stations anyway, because there are so few of them.

    “For most people, the recycling station for boxes is closer than going to your town hall, I think you’re just unlucky. So, why don’t you complain to your city about that?”
    I’m not sure about that. I think a lot of people live a long way from the collecting stations. When I take my regular rubbish and plastic to the nearest station, I see a lot of people coming in their cars.



  12. YU on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > As you say, if the quantity becomes too much, it will be likely to affect their current collecting system. However, if it costed to dipose, people would never bother to bring them all the way. Though, I still think that it would be a good way to improve the company’s image.

    If covenience stores really took the task “for free”, I guess the current collecting systems by our community would be almost no use for anyone. I think for most of us it is much more convenient to bring those recyclables to convenience stores at our own convenience than bringing them to the recycle stations in the early morning on the determined days.
    もしコンビニが現実に無料でそういうことをやってくれたら自治体による収集はほとんど意味がなくなるでしょうね。ほとんどの人たちにとってリサイクルステーションに決められた日の朝早くに持っていくよりコンビニに好きなときに持っていくほうが便利ですものね。

    However, convenience stores always say ; “Don’t bring garbage from your house, we only accept the ones which are from our merchandises.”
    でもコンビにっていつも「家庭ごみを持ってこないでください」って言ってないですか?

    I guess that means they don’t have no intention whatsoever of helping us “for free”(There are many other ways to be contributed to our society for convenience stores. For example, they could be 災害ステーション in time of disaster.)and still I think collecting recyclables is the task of local governments because we pay tax to keep the collecting systems and run garbage treatment facilities. I don’t think we need to pay double.
    それってタダで私たちを(ゴミのことで)助ける気などさらさらない、ってことだと思います。(でも災害時の災害ステーションになる、などコンビニには他に社会貢献をする場が沢山あると思います)。
    ゴミ、リサイクルに関してはやっぱり自治体の仕事だと思います。そのために税金を払っているし、処理場を維持しているし、ダブルでお金を払う(自治体とコンビ二に)必要は私はないと思います。



  13. Biwa on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for your idea. Is your recyclable collecting spot farther than the convenience store? I didn’t imagine that. I was just suggesting that if there were more choices to dispose those recyclables, we don’t have to waste the eco-conscious feelings of those who have it. The collecting spots don’t necessarily have to be located at town halls or conveniece stores at all, but I thought they can be considered as options. Those conscious people are saying that they will bear the burden of bringing in the recyclables as long as they accept them.

    Also, I agree to what you said about those plastic bags, but the program to charge plastic bags is at least providing eco-conciousness to people. It might be a little thing, but I think we ought to think about reducing rubbish and recycling even if it costs a lot. If we don’t, we’ll just end up lacking landfills.



  14. Biwa on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Sorry, I said “agree to” again! It should be “agree with”.



  15. YU on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Hi David,

    > I’m not suggesting that they abandon the current system, but I think they should also have a central place where people can take items for recycling at their own convenience.

    I see. Seto has it, but Ono-cho doesn’t.
    So, you can ask your town to set up a place like that. I wonder how they would react…

    > Most people have to use cars to take their rubbish to the collecting stations anyway, because there are so few of them.

    Is Ono-cho a small town?
    I have a feeling that there are more numbers of collecting stations and more frequent collecting
    days in bigger local governments.

    I thought of another advice for you regarding building a house of your own. I didn’t care much about that, but many of my mother friends told me that they compared the garbage collecting systems when they chose where to live. I think finally things like that is also very important for your comfortable life.



  16. Biwa on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 01:03 PM

    Hi David,

    Can I ask you a question?
    Do you have different collecting spots for burnables and recyclables because you said the collecting spot was so far away. I can’t imagine driving a car to throw away burnables like vegetable skins etc!



  17. YU on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 01:27 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    >Is your recyclable collecting spot farther than the convenience store? I didn’t imagine that.

    Almost same disatnce, the spot is maybe 20 meters closer than nearest convenience store from my house.

    > It might be a little thing, but I think we ought to think about reducing rubbish and recycling even if it costs a lot. If we don’t, we’ll just end up lacking landfills.

    I can’t agree with the part “even if it costs a lot”, but I didn’t say I’m not aginst those ideas at all. I think it’s a good thing more people to become eco-conscious, too. However, don’t you think we should gradually realize that reducing unneccesary plastic packages for vegetable, meat or fish is more eco-friendly than using eco-bags to carry your groceries as for our grocery shopping? In Germany all those food is sold by measure. They are very eco-conscious, I think.
    エコバッグも結構ですが、「こと食料品に関しては」あまり意味はない、と言っているだけです、スーパー側が必要な量だけ提供すれば無駄はなくなるはずです、ゴミ捨てに再利用できるのですから、コメントに書いたように。理由はレジ袋を完全廃止したら結局プラスチック製のゴミ袋を買ってゴミを捨てる羽目になるだけだからです。結局一緒でしょ?「食料品購入に関しては」野菜、肉、魚に使っているプラスチック包装をやめる方がよっぽど環境に優しい、とそろそろ誰か言い始めても良い頃だと思います。ドイツではそういうものは全部量り売りでしたよ。



  18. David Barker on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 01:27 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    The collecting spot for burnables and most recyclables is about 800m from my house. That would be a 1.6km round trip, so I usually take the car, as do the other people who live around me. Plastics are also collected at this point, but only for one hour between 7 and 8 every other Wednesday. If you miss this narrow window, you have to keep all the plastic in your house until the next one.

    The spot for paper is, for some reason, completely different. I have never been there, but looking at it on the map, I would guess that it is probably at least 2km from my house – about the same as the town hall.

    Ono-cho is indeed a small town, which is probably why things are so inconvenient, but the problem could be solved with just a bit of flexible thinking in town hall. Unfortunately, the phrases “flexible thinking” and “town hall” are rarely used in the same sentence. In my experience, these people are bureaucrats who have been trained to worship at the altar of 従来通り and avoid individual thinking and decision taking at any cost. (Apologies to any of you who work in a town or city hall, but I have always found these to be very inefficient and frustrating places.)

    As for the question of money, on top of paying 町民税, we also have to pay 1,000 yen for each set of rubbish bags, so we are really paying for rubbish collection twice.



  19. Biwa on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 01:43 PM

    Hi YU,

    Yes, I really think 量り売りis a very good system, but how do you bring back those meat and fish you bought? Do you bring containers? 昔は日本でもお鍋持ってお豆腐を買ったって言いますよね。(ところで私はそんな歳じゃないですよ。(^-^)b)
    By the way, I do my shopping at Seiyu, too, and they provide meat in plastic bags instead of trays. I think it’s a very nice idea because they’re mostly sold in large packets and of course less expensive than buying in small trays. I freeze them if they’re too much for one meal.



  20. Biwa on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 02:01 PM

    Hi David,

    Hmmmm… Sounds that things are very different from place to place. For me, I just have to go down to the first floor and put everything right in front of our apartment’s parking space. I’ve heard that rubbish bags are charged for eating and drinking places like restaurants and bars in Tokyo, but I didn’t know that ordinary residents in some towns have to double pay for throwing away rubbish. That’s very unfair! I wonder how people bear that system.
    By the way, I like the phrase “if you miss the narrow window”. It sounds perfect to express your heartfelt scream.



  21. YU on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 02:25 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    In Germany people weigh vegetables themselves by using the scale set on the table. The rates of the day for the each vegetables are installed into the scall in advance and all what you need are putting the vegetables on the scale and press the button of the vegetable you buy. The buttons usually have vegetable pictures so foreigners like me can easily know which button you should press. For the packages, very thin plastic bags are usually used(ペラペラのナイロン袋です). That’s why they have very little amount of plastic rubbish.

    As for meat and fish, there are almost always staff to weigh them, even at the supermarkets(対面式です、ものすごく安いスーパーを除いて). I guess those people need to be qualified to weigh and sell meat or fish in Germany. Like vegetables, very thin plastic bags are used to pack meat and fish, too.

    > By the way, I do my shopping at Seiyu, too, and they provide meat in plastic bags instead of trays.

    I see, that’s a good movement.
    The system hasn’t been introduced at SEIYU near my house…By the way, I seldom do my grocery shopping at SEIYU.

    Plastic shopping bags at the supermarkets are not free in Germany, too. But the difference is theirs are much much more stronger so that they are duarable. They cost almost 100yen whilst Japanese ones cost only 2~5 yen in average. However, they prefer to buy and use the ones made of clothes.

    > 昔は日本でもお鍋持ってお豆腐を買ったって言いますよね。(ところで私はそんな歳じゃないですよ。(^-^)b)

    I know you are not that old!! 🙂
    Sazae-san still brings a shopping bag made of straw and shops at 商店街. She orders rice, soy-sause or sake from individual shops like Mikawaya-san. And Sabu chan delivers them to her home. I wonder if she really lives in the 21st century…but, that’s very human and heart warming…



  22. Biwa on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 02:48 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for introducing the German system. I hope the Japanese supermarkets will take in the good system, too. I’d like to know how they throw away burnables in Germany. Actually, I’ve tried to do that in those thin plastic bags, but I finally put them in stronger bags because it was too scary to imagine the cats and crows tear up the bags and make a mess at the collecting spot. That’s one of the headaching problems why we can’t reduce plastic bags, isn’t it? And if we use containers/bins, that will cause another problem like “who’s going to keep them clean?”
    Very tangled problem, I guess.



  23. YU on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 03:37 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    There are big garbage containers with a lid(I think they are made of steel) in each residential areas. So, I always threw away burnables into them. I don’t know who cleans those spots, maybe the residents(?), but no one asked me to do that even once.

    Hi David and Biwa,

    > As for the question of money, on top of paying 町民税, we also have to pay 1,000 yen for each set of rubbish bags, so we are really paying for rubbish collection twice.

    I have a friend living in Yamato-city in Kanagawa prefecture with her husband and two children.
    She told me that they have to pay for the rubbish bags in Yamato-city, too, and they are very expensive compared to the ones sold on the market. They can’t dispose burnables or recyclables unless they use the plastic rubbish bags designated by the city. I guess that is one of the ways of the city to reudce rubbish. However, she also told me that lots of people in Yamato-city bring their home garbage to convenience stores, supermarkets and other places like neigbouring cities.
    At the supermarkets in Yamato, everyone tries to unpack the packages of vegetables, meat, fish and other staff to reduce home garbage so the garbage boxes at the supermarkets are always full of those plastic rubbish. I wonder if we should call those phenomenon “eco-friendly”.

    I found an interesting article.
    I think too strict rules sometimes lure people to evil ways…
    http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1324757898



  24. YU on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 05:11 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    I just happened to find a photo of the same type of scale to weigh fruits and vegetables used in Germany.
    Here it is ;

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/frodo_von_d/6475934941/

    The plastic bag on the photo is almost the same, too.



  25. David on Tuesday November 13th, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    If any of you have read my article on the Blog for Teachers called “Ten things you should not say to people from other countries,” please have a look at a new comment I have posted there. It is a list written by a Japanese woman of “Nine things you shouldn’t say/do when you meet an Asian,” and it’s very funny.



  26. amo on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Hi David,

    Judging from your story, you seem to live in a bit inconvenient area 🙁 Anyway, here are my thoughts.

    I live in a condo and there is a place we can dispose of rubbish anytime, so all we have to do is just sort out of our rubbish and put it there. Because of this, I don’t know when burnable and unburnable rubbish are collected in my area. About PET bottles, plastic trays and milk cartons, we used to take them back to the supermarket, but the rubbish collection system in my area changed several years ago and then luckily we can put those recyclable rubbish on the same place 🙂

    >Apart from that, for example, SEIYU near my house started to charge us for the plastic bag since last month “for protecting environment”.

    The said supermarket don’t charge you but they discount 2yen if you bring your own bag, so we usually take my own bag most of the time.

    >There’s no problem for me. I guess many of plastic bags are disposed just as rubbish, so I think bringing each persons bag is a good idea.

    I totally agree with you. If those plastic bags end up using as rubbish bags, that would be fine, but I don’t think so, the bags are disposed just as rubbish like you said. So charging plastic bags encourage people to use the bags wisely. At least, I believe nobody want to pay extra money for rubbish! さすがに有料化すれば今まで何も考えずにビニール袋をもらってすぐにゴミとして捨てていた人も、少しは環境のことを考えるようになるのでは??

    Oh, it’s almost midnight. I should be in bed.
    Good night and sweet dreams,
    amo



  27. Fumie on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 07:12 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    In my area, burnable rubbish are collected twice a week, plastic are done once a week and bins and cans are done twice a month. As for Sodaigomi(big rubbish within 1 meter), we can throw away within 6 items at one time. In this case, we call the city and ask them to pick them up and they came in front of each households. Aside from city’s rubbish collection system, Kodomokai and some private companies collect papers, cans, milk cartons and cardboards once every 2 weeks. Having several systems, I don’t feel inconvenience though I don’t want to pay for throwing away big items: TVs, fridges and microwaves. People became more aware of environment, especially 3R (recycle, reuse, reduce), I think it’s a good thing. I don’t remember from when it started but we used to throw every rubbish together on a same day. As often being said that, things are still excessively packaged in Japan. In my city, city take some thrown-away garbages like bicycles, wardrobes and after clean and fix them, they sell them at low cost at recycle fair. I think it’s a great idea.

    Hi David,

    >The collecting spot for burnables and most recyclables is about 800m from my house.
    -That is very inconvenient. In my area, garbage station for those is just 10 meters away.

    I will read “Nine things you shouldn’t say/do when you meet an Asian,” later, thanks.

    Fumie



  28. amo on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 08:34 AM

    Correction

    >nobody want
    nobody wants

    Hi David and everyone,
    I was going to take a day off today, but I have some loose ends I have to tie up. So I postponed my day off to tomorrow.

    I got to go, bye for now,
    amo



  29. YU on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 09:03 AM

    Hi amo,

    > The said supermarket don’t charge you but they discount 2yen if you bring your own bag, so we usually take my own bag most of the time.

    I think SEIYU near my house used do so until the end of September, but they changed the system and started charging us for plastic shopping bags. AEON still discount 2 yen if you bring your own bag.

    > さすがに有料化すれば今まで何も考えずにビニール袋をもらってすぐにゴミとして捨てていた人も、少しは環境のことを考えるようになるのでは??

    That’s very true, but as I explained many times, don’t you think you’ll just need to buy plastic rubbish bags yourself somewhere else instead? That means, you do finally the same thing. So, the point is whether supermarkets offer us an appropriate amount of them or not.
    それは正論ですが、何度も説明しているようにじゃあamoはほかのところで(ドラッグストアとか)プラスチックのゴミ袋を買っていませんか?何に入れてゴミを出していますか?プラスチックのゴミ袋じゃないかと推測しますが、違いますか?ていうことはやっていることは結局同じじゃないですか?だから要はスーパー側が買い物量に見合ったレジ袋を提供するかどうかで、適量なら無駄はないしゴミ袋として再利用すれば良い、と言っているのです。現にうちは再利用してますけど。。。。だからマイバッグ持参のほかに「適量のレジ袋をもらう」というオプションがあっても何も問題はないと思いますが、どうでしょう?適量さえ守ればマイバッグの人は2円値引きされる、という従来どおりのやり方でいいと思います。

    実はこの矛盾点は多くの専門家(環境学者を含む)が指摘していることです。エコバッグブームで多くの人々は「私は地球に優しいことをしている」と錯覚している気がします。でもスーパーに関して言えばもっと効果的で確実なエコは例えば「量り売り制度」じゃないですか、と言っているのです。なぜそこ部分の無駄にはあまり異を唱えず、レジ袋の削減のみに固執するのか逆に不思議です。

    もちろんこれも何度も言っていますが食料品の購入以外にエコバッグを使うのは私も賛成です。



  30. Biwa on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for the article and the photo. I think it’s a nice system, but I came to think that you might not need to scale things by yourself as long as they’re scaled afterwards at the register. Perhaps, just showing the unit price would work as well, and I also noticed that Seiyu sells fruit and some kinds of vegetables like potatoes and onions that way.(最近は西友でも果物や一部の野菜をばら売りしてますね。)I guess this is rather because of the increase of seniors living alone, but it’s a good change anyway.

    For the charged plastic bags, I think amo wanted to say like this. If the bags are charged, people would try to reduce the total rubbish at home because no one would really want to buy/pay for them at drug stores. It’s funny, but other stores still give us free bags, and I think I have more than enough to throw away my whole rubbish.
    So I think we have to approach from many sides, like introducing 量り売りsystem, charging bags=get people conscious, thinking of ways to dispose rubbish using less plastic bags, etc.



  31. Biwa on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for letting me know. I’ve just posted a comment there. After reading all the comments, I’ve noticed that Vick is a teacher, too!



  32. YU on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > but I came to think that you might not need to scale things by yourself as long as they’re scaled afterwards at the register.

    Although I don’t understand why you mentioned that(the supermarket on the photo and in the texts is not German one), it is true that they are weighed at the cashier once more at “some” supermarkets in Germany because some customers might use a sly trick, like lifting vegetables in the plastic bag when they weigh them.
    どうしてBiwaがそういう風に考えたのかわからないけど(写真と文のスーパーはドイツのスーパーではないと思うので)、でもレジでもう一度量りなおすスーパーがドイツにあるのは事実ですよ。買い物客の中には量るときに野菜の入ったナイロン袋をちょっと持ち上げるようなズルをする人もいるみたいですから。

    As for meat and fish, you’d better have scale them by shop assistants for hygienic reasons.
    肉と魚に関しては衛生的な理由から店の人に任せた方がいいのでしょうね。

    > Perhaps, just showing the unit price would work as well, and I also noticed that Seiyu sells fruit and some kinds of vegetables like potatoes and onions that way.(最近は西友でも果物や一部の野菜をばら売りしてますね

    I don’t really know about other European countries, but German people like to measure everything and anything. For example, glasses at restaurants have a scale even paper cups at MacDonald have it!! They pour the exact amount of beer, spring water, juice, etc… you ordered. When I saw the glass for the first time, I was very surprised.
    ほかのヨーロッパ諸国の事情はよく知りませんが、ドイツ人はとにかく何でもかんでも量るのが好きみたいですよ。たとえばレストランのグラスには必ず目盛りがついています。マックの紙コップにいたってでも、です!(ちなみにメニューにもついていることが多いです、0.3L, 0.5L, とか)
    で、店の人は注文したとおりの正確な量のビール、ミネラルウォーター、ジュースなどをついでくれます。
    目盛りつきのグラスはこんな感じです。

    Here is photos for your image ;
    http://www.eins-p.com/about/biiru.html

    So, in German people’s case, they prefer to buy by measure to by the number of articles, I guess, because some articles are big and some are small. They might have the idea of “measuring everything is fair”!!
    なので「ドイツ人の場合は」、ですが「個数」より「重さ、量」で買うことを好むのでは、と思います。野菜や果物の大きさにはどうしてもばらつきがありますものね。ドイツ人には「量ることは公平」みたいな意識があるのかも。それにしても細かいな、ドイツ人!

    > I think I have more than enough to throw away my whole rubbish.

    In my case, I usually say to the cashier, 「こんなに要りません」after she has gave them to me more than neccessary, so I don’t get more than enough to throw away my whole rubbish.
    私の場合はレジの人に「こんなに要りません」と言うからレジ袋を捨てることはまずないですが。レジの人は「えっ?」とたじろぐことが多いですが。。。

    In addition to that, my family does our grocery shopping at the supermarket only once a week on weekends, so I get three or four of them at most per once, and that is just right amount for the amount of my family’s whole rubbish for a week.
    それと我が家は週に一回週末に食料品の買出しをするだけなのでレジ袋はどんなに多くても3,4枚もらう程度です。だから我が家の1週間分のゴミを出すのにちょうど良い量です。余ってもうちは捨てずにいとっておいてゴミが多いときに使ってますが。。。ケチすぎますかね?

    > So I think we have to approach from many sides, like introducing 量り売りsystem, charging bags=get people conscious, thinking of ways to dispose rubbish using less plastic bags, etc.

    I totally agree with you. Like everyone mentioned, I also think that being conscious of environment protection is a very good thing.
    However, what I wanted to say is that “being conscious of environment protection” and “whether you’re doing really something effective in keeping environment or not” is a different matter.
    全く同感です。私も環境保護を意識するのはとてもよいことだと思います。
    が、私がみなさんに言いたかったのは「環境保護を意識すること」と「自分が実際にそれに対して効果的なことをしているかどうか」は別問題、ということです。

    Like you said, I think it’s about time we started thinking of more practical approaches than just imaginative approaches.
    Biwaの言うようにもうそろそろイメージや意識だけでなく実際に役立つ、効果的なアプローチも考え始めていい頃だ、と思います。



  33. Biwa on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Hi YU,

    >どうしてBiwaがそういう風に考えたのかわからないけど

    I just thought the same way (they might use a sly trick), and the footnote of the photo said like that.(写真の但し書きにそんなことが書いてあったので)So, I came to think that it would be unnecessary to scale things twice.(どうせレジで測りなおすなら、2回測る必要もないような感じがしましたが・・・)
    Perhaps, German people are very “fair” in some ways, and scaling things might be a good idea to avoid fusses. The photo of the beer glass is amazing! LOL! I wonder what the beer would taste like. A very fair taste, maybe?!!



  34. Biwa on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Hi everyone,

    Do you think we should put a translation for this entry, too? I’m not sure if that is the reason, but we might be missing comments from other members.



  35. Biwa on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 01:58 PM

    今回のエントリーの和訳です。(おかしな所は指摘してください)

    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.

    皆さん周知のこととは思いますが、日本で「ごみを捨てる」ということは大変煩わしいことです。私にとっても、新しいところに引っ越すたびに非常にややこしい(難しい)ことの一つで、今年も例外ではありませんでした。

    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.

    初めて日本に来た当時は「ごみ捨て」はけっこう簡単なことでした。ソファーやテレビのような大きなものでも、決められた日に道端に置いておけばよかったのですから。

    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.

    しかもこれはリサイクルにも役立って、収集日になると人が捨てたものを車で来て拾う人がいたものです。私の友人も、彼曰く「ごみバン」つまり「軽ワゴン」に乗ってこれをやっていました。

    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.

    しかし近頃では「粗大ごみ」を捨てるということはとてもややこしく、ほとんどの地域では有料です。このやり方の根底に流れる考え方は理解できるつもりですが、本当に必要なことを、関係者たちがつきつめて考えたかどうかは疑問です。

    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.

    やり方(捨て方)を複雑にし過ぎたり、値段を高くし過ぎたりすると、結局、田舎の方へ不法投棄する人が出てくるだけです。瀬戸の山の近くに住んでいた頃は多くの人が古くなったテレビ、冷蔵庫、電子レンジを捨てに来ていました。夕方になると市役所が誰かに回収に行かせなければならなかったものです。

    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.

    4月に瀬戸から岐阜県小野町に引っ越しました。瀬戸には、いつでも好きな時にリサイクルごみ、例えば缶、ペットボトル、段ボールなどを持ち込めるようなリサイクルセンターがありました。もちろんタダでした。ここ小野町ではごみ収集のシステムはあまり便利ではありません。プラごみは2週に1回だけの回収なので、その日を逃すと1か月間プラごみを家の中に貯めこんでおくことになります。

    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.

    先日、市役所へ段ボール箱について問い合わせに行きました。それによると、紙ごみ回収があるにはあるのですが、月に2回、しかも土曜日、集積地はうちからかなり遠いところです。しかも週末は会議で留守がちなため、とても不便です。

    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!!”

    そこで、別の日に持って行くことが出来る集積地があるか聞きましたが、ありませんとのこと。そこで段ボール箱を「燃えるごみ」として出せるか聞いたら「出すことは出来るが、出来ればリサイクルに出してほしい。」との答え。「だったらなんでそんなにややこしくするんだぁ~!」と叫びたくなりました。

    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.

    まったく、どうしてみんなが都合が付く時に自由にごみを持ち込めるリサイクルセンターを市役所に設置しないのか理解不能です。お年寄りや車のない人には無理だから、という人もいるかもしれませんが、いずれにしても紙ごみの集積地はうちから車で5分かかるのですから、理屈が合いません。

    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?

    とにかく、みなさんの地域のごみ収集システムはどんな感じですか?そのシステムは人々がごみを正しく捨てるように出来ていますか、それともややこしすぎて思わずリサイクルするのを躊躇ってしまうようなものですか?

    Look forward to hearing your stories.

    みなさんの話を聞かせてください。



  36. YU on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 02:12 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > 写真の但し書きにそんなことが書いてあったので)

    The supermarket on the photo seems to be in a city called Groningen in Netherlands. By the way, I’m not sure if the information in the text(corrupt scales) is reliable. The writer might just hold something against the supermarket…?!

    > So, I came to think that it would be unnecessary to scale things twice.(どうせレジで測りなおすなら、2回測る必要もないような感じがしましたが・・・)

    I think so, too, but the scale in the fruit and vegetable corner has a function to make a seal type slip where the nett weight and the price are written after scaling, but the one at the cashier doesn’t it. You take the slip, put it on the plastic bag and pay at the cashier.

    > Do you think we should put a translation for this entry, too? I’m not sure if that is the reason, but we might be missing comments from other members.

    Huummm, maybe…



  37. YU on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 02:39 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for your translation!
    I think your translation is fine as usual.
    (“town hall” has a meaning of 市役所, but perhaps the one here should be translated as 町役場 because David lives in 小野”町”…)
    どうでもいいことですが。。。

    After reading your translation, I again felt sorry for David and his neighbours. I felt they are just “bringing/transporting” their rubbish to other place, not Ono-cho is “collecting” their rubbish. Should it be called 行政サービス? I think it should be called 市民によるサービス.

    Luckily the burnable rubbish station is only 5 meters away from my house, and the one for recyclables is 100 meters away or so. My husband always complains that the recyclables spot is too far, but he’d better shut up!



  38. rinko on Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at 03:34 PM

    Hi David and everyone.

    I was surprised to hear David’s story that the system of rubbish collection is very inconvenient in Ono-cho!In my area burnable rubbish is collected three times every week and plastic is done once everyweek.And recyclable rubbish is collected twice every month.There is a collecting spot just in front of the apartment I live.
    Also some supermarkets cooperate with the city and they have collection stations for recyclable trash like pet bottoles and cans, we can take them there anytime we want.
    So I don’t think the collecting system is inconvenient at all but we have to purchase specific bags for burnable rubbish(燃えるごみ専用の袋) to throw them out.I always have to be careful not to run out of them!

    Sorry I don’t have time to add a Japanese translation.I have to leave.

    Bye for now everyone!

    rinko



  39. Kimi on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Thank you, Biwa for translating the entry. It is very helpful to me.

    In my area, burnable rubbish is collected twice a week, but plastic and tray are only collected every two weeks as well as in Ono-cho. So I can’t miss the day by any means. Plastic and tray build up in the trash bin for two weeks. Probably for this reason, in this area I can see people doing what YU mentioned about Yamato-city (trying to unpack the packages of vegetables, meat, fish and other staff to reduce home garbage and throw the packages away in the garbage boxes at the supermarkets). Then in my area, we have to buy a dedicated bag for burnable rubbish.

    私の地域では、可燃ごみは週に2度回収されますが、プラスチックとトレーごみは小野町同様に2週間に1度です。ですから何としてでもその日を逃すわけにはいきません。その間にごみがかなり溜まります。おそらくそういうこともあり、ここではYUが大和町について述べていたような行動を目にします。(家庭ごみを減らすために、スーパーで肉や魚などの包みを取ってごみ箱に捨てていくこと)それに、ここではやはり可燃ごみ専用の袋を買わなければなりません。

    In my hometown, some of them used to burn raw garbage by themselves. Some of you could not believe it. There used to be an incinerator in my backyard. Now it is prohibited because of dioxin emission.

    私の故郷では、以前は家庭で生ごみを燃やしている人も結構いました。信じられないかもしれませんが、うちの裏庭にも焼却炉がありました。今はダイオキシン排出の問題などから禁止されています。

    Anyway, it will be off the topic, yesterday I attended an English seminar organized by ALC. Do you know Mr.Shibahara who hosts 攻略!英語リスニング on radio. He taught us.

    ところで、話題から外れますが、昨日ALC主催の英語セミナーに参加してきました。NHKラジオの「攻略リスニング」などで講師をつとめる柴原先生をご存知でしょうか?柴原先生が指導してくださいました。

    The words impressed me the most was ”確かに語学の才能をもっている人はいます。でも、それはマラソンで例えるなら、その人は600メートル先でスタートするようなものです。42.195キロの600メートルです。多少有利かもしれませんが、決定的な差ではないでしょう。それにそういう人は意外と余裕こいて、努力している人に抜かれたりするんですよ”
    (すみません、力尽きて英語で書けませんでした。もしどなたかトライしてくださる方がいれば有難いです)

    I have a long way to go, but I renewed my resolve that I never give up.
    まだまだ道のりは長いですが、決してあきらめないぞと気持ちを新たにしました。

    Kimi



  40. amo on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Hi YU,

    >じゃあamoはほかのところで(ドラッグストアとか)プラスチックのゴミ袋を買っていませんか?

    No, I never bought plastic rubbish bags, like your family we use the plastic shopping bags as rubbish bags and we still got a plenty of the bags in stock. I should’ve said that we didn’t use to bring our own bags, but as I said we still got a lot, so we had decided to bring eco-bags until we run out of stock. So of course, once we run out of the bags, we have to give up on getting a discount for a bag. Because I am sure that it’s still cheaper than if we buy the rubbish bags at drag stores.

    >レジ袋の削減のみに固執するのか逆に不思議です。
    I didn’t say the supermarkets should stop giving you the plastic bags, because I still need them too.

    >In my case, I usually say to the cashier, 「こんなに要りません」after she has gave them to me more than necessary, so I don’t get more than enough to throw away my whole rubbish.

    I did the same thing as you do, end yet we still got a plenty of bags

    >余ってもうちは捨てずにいとっておいてゴミが多いときに使ってますが。。。ケチすぎますかね?

    No I did the same thing as you do. We kept those bags in stock, but It seemed that our rubbish never catch up with them(strange English lol), so we sometimes ended up disposing them as rubbish. I am sure you would say “What a waste!” and so do I. That’s the reason we started use eco bags now. YUと一緒でうちも捨てずに取ってましたが、捨てるゴミの方が少ないのか袋が溜まってしまい、もったいないと思いつつも最終的には捨てるはめになっていたです。なので今はエコバッグが重宝してます。

    Hi Biwa,

    >I think amo wanted to say like this. ….
    Thanks for helping me 😉

    >I think I have more than enough to throw away my whole rubbish.
    That’s why I started to bring my own bag.

    >So I think we have to approach from many sides, like introducing 量り売りsystem, charging bags=get people conscious, thinking of ways to dispose rubbish using less plastic bags, etc.

    I totally agree with you.

    Bye for now,
    amo



  41. YU on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 07:29 AM

    Hi amo,

    First of all, sorry, I don’t understand what you mean by this sentence ;

    > I should’ve said that we didn’t use to bring our own bags

    Thank you for your explanations, but still I don’t understand why you end up with having such a big plastic bag collection at home…
    説明ありがとう、でもなぜamoの家にそんなにレジ袋がたまるのかまだよくわからないな~。

    Why don’t you just always “refuse” to get them at stores, not only at supermarkets, but at other stores, too??
    なぜスーパーだけでなく他の店でももらうの断らないんですか?

    Have you heard of “4R”?
    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and “Refuse”.
    Apparently, the last one has been added recently and “4R” is getting more popular than “3R” these days.

    I think you told us you live with your sister, but maybe both of you work during the daytime?! That means, you don’t produce(?) so much rubbish as my family does I guess.
    たしか妹さん(?)と一緒に住んでるって言ってましたよね?
    でもおそらく二人とも働いてて日中は家にいないのでしょ?てことは我が家ほどゴミは出ないでしょうね。

    So, why don’t you simply stop receiving plastic bags if you always bring your eco-bag with you? And you should get only the amount you need for a week as I do, that’s so easy! I don’t think the amount of your rubbish for a week doesn’t change so much.
    だからいつもエコバッグを持ち歩いてるなら必要以上のプラスチック袋をもらうのをやめればいいだけのでは?で、私がやっているように自分たちの1週間のゴミの量に必要な分だけもらってあとは断れば良いだけ、とても簡単なことだと思いますが。。。。
    一週間のゴミの量って大体各家庭で一定してるから目安はわかるでしょう。

    > Because I am sure that it’s still cheaper than if we buy the rubbish bags at drag stores.

    Huuummm, I’m not sure which is cheaper, but anyway if you shop at the supermarkets or at any other stores that give you plastic/paper bags for free, you are always charged for them. I mean, the price of their articles/items are including those costs, of course. In this meaning, you might have more benefits if you receive them from the stores….
    どっちが安いのかは使う量にもよると思うのでわかりません。
    が、袋(プラスチック/紙)を無料で提供している店は必ず商品の価格にそれを上乗せしているはずですからエコバッグを持っていこうが袋をもらおうが『とにかく私たちはいつも袋代をチャージされている』と思いますが。。。。だからそういった意味では袋をもらったほうがお得なのかも知れないですね。

    That’s why I wrote before, “Supermarket might have some benefits if they start charging us for the plastic bags”. If they returned the money to us through discounting the price of their articles, that would be vey nice, but I don’t think they are that kind… So, their “eco” is actually “ego”?!
    だからスーパー側はレジ袋有料化で得するかも、と以前書いたのです。有料化した分価格を下げるような良心的なスーパーなら話は別ですが、おそらくないでしょうね。だからスーパー側のエコって実は『エゴ』じゃないですか?な~んて!

    I don’t think it’s not only a matter of money, though…
    まあ、でもお金だけの問題じゃないけど。(お金は大事ですが!)

    See you!



  42. Biwa on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 08:16 AM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for checking my Japanese! Yes, 町役場should be more appropriate for this case, thanks.(確かに!いつもありがとう♪)
    Living in the countryside might have a bit of inconvenience, but I’m sure that they still gain lots of pleasures as well. It’s a kind of balance and harmony, I guess.

    Hi amo,

    >That’s why I started to bring my own bag.

    Yeah, that’s what I’m doing, too. However, it’s not only me that buys things, my husband and sons buy things for themselves, too, and they don’t like using eco-bags (they say they’re too unfashionable!), so we end up with plenty of plastic bags. I kind of understand what happens to you and your sister! Anyway, my sons use them to put in their dirty 部活着every day, so I think we’re not just throwing them away like rubbish, at least.

    Hi Kimi,

    You’re really a hard worker, aren’t you? I admire you! I hope you could share some of the things you’ve learned at the seminar some day. Let me try translating these words:

    >確かに語学の才能をもっている人はいます。でも、それはマラソンで例えるなら、その人は600メートル先でスタートするようなものです。42.195キロの600メートルです。多少有利かもしれませんが、決定的な差ではないでしょう。それにそういう人は意外と余裕こいて、努力している人に抜かれたりするんですよ”
    It’s true that some people are talented in their English abilities, but it’s like start running a full marathon from just 600meters ahead. It’s only 600meters in the whole 42.195kilometers. It might be a bit of advantage at first, but not such a crucial one, I guess. Also, those people tend to forget the hard work and lose the lead at the end.



  43. YU on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 09:24 AM

    Hi amo,

    Sorry, now I know what you mean.

    >I should’ve said that we didn’t use to bring our own bags

    You meant, “以前はマイバッグを持ち歩いてなかった”, right?

    Hi Kimi,

    > In my hometown, some of them used to burn raw garbage by themselves. Some of you could not believe it. There used to be an incinerator in my backyard. Now it is prohibited because of dioxin emission.
    > 私の故郷では、以前は家庭で生ごみを燃やしている人も結構いました。信じられないかもしれませんが、うちの裏庭にも焼却炉がありました。今はダイオキシン排出の問題などから禁止されています。

    That reminded me of the fact that my elementary school(and maybe my junior and high school too?) had a incierator (ごみ焼却炉) of their own, and our caretaker(用務員のおじさん) regularly burn up rubbish there. I wonder if schools today also have such a incierator and burn up garbage themselves… probably not, because I never see smoke sending out from schools in my area.
    私が通っていた小学校に(もしかしたら中学、高校もだったかも)自前のごみ焼却炉があって用務員のおじさんが定期的にいつもそこでゴミを燃やしていたのを思い出しました。今の学校ってごみ焼却炉でゴミ燃やしたりしているんでしょうかね。でもなさそう、近所の学校から煙が上がっているのって見たことないです。

    By the way, you work really hard to learn English! I admire you!! I never heard of Mr./Ms. 柴原, but I also think that learning foreign languages needs a lot of efforts and a little talent.
    話しは変わりますが、Kimiは本当に頑張ってますね!柴原先生は存じ上げませんが、外国語のマスターにはものすごい努力とほんの少しの才能が必要というのは本当だと思いますよ。

    Hi Biwa,

    > Living in the countryside might have a bit of inconvenience, but I’m sure that they still gain lots of pleasures as well. It’s a kind of balance and harmony, I guess.

    I agree.
    When I read the part of David’s entry, “I wanted to scream at him, “Well stop making it so difficult, then!!”” I felt he is patient.
    If it were me, I might have said it in reality. However, they may ask me back, “Why did you choose to live in Ono-cho, then?? There are any thousands of choices where you live. Some offer you more convenient services. We never asked you to live here at all, did we? ” !!

    これは自治体側のただの開き直りですけど、私のママ友たちが言うように行政サービスの充実は結構家を購入する際は重要だと思いますね。小児医療費補助とか幼稚園の数とか2年半前まで住んでいた隣の市と今住んでいる市では全然違います(今のほうがいい)。
    要はその自治体が企業収入などでお金があるかどうかの違いだと思います。だから大きな都市ではごみ収集のシステムなどもより充実しているのではないか、と思います。



  44. YU on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Hi amo,

    Now I understand what your whole comment means after reading through it once again. Actually I read it several times before posting my first comment, but I couldn’t get you well then, sorry.
    I’m too slow.

    Well, what you meant is that ;

    以前はマイバッグを使ってなかったからレジ袋がたまる一方だった、でもマイバッグを使うようになってからはたまっていない。

    ていうことは私と同じように必要以上のものは断ってもらっていない、ということですよね?うちも食料品購入以外にはエコバッグを使い、なるべく袋はもらわないようにしています。ただオシャレな店の紙袋などは人に何か物をあげるときに便利なのであえてもらっています。

    個人にゴミを減らせって言われてもなかなか難しいと思いませんか?生ゴミなど、出るものは出ます。ゴミを減らせる立場にあるのはむしろ企業側の気がしますが、どうでしょう?無駄な食品トレイの使用や過剰包装を止めれば良いと思います。



  45. Biwa on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Hi YU, Kimi and everyone,

    >but I also think that learning foreign languages needs a lot of efforts and a little talent.

    I’d also like to add “flexibility and a bit of sense of humor”.
    Yesterday, I had a class of four 6th graders, and we were doing some Q&As as a warming up. I asked them if they could say three scary things. Most of the students said things like earthquakes, ghosts, darkness, mom! and cockroaches, but a girl happened to say “消費税増税、少子化、格差社会!” (of course in Japanese). I know she was trying to say something funny and we all did laugh, but I think she is smart or I shall say she has a huge linguistic sensibility in her mother tongue in other words. She is a good student for sure, and I guess she has lots of interactions among various people and naturally, that leads her linguistic sensibility to a very good one. (I hope I’m making sense!)
    So I think that as long as languages are kinds of tools, it’s important to have a “good sense” for language to use it flexibly. I guess that can be gained plentifully in the mother tongue.



  46. amo on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Hi YU,

    >Now I understand what your whole comment means after reading through it once again.

    I am glad that you understand what I meant 🙂
    I know that I am not good at explain things in concise, clear language, even in my mother tongue lol

    >ただオシャレな店の紙袋などは人に何か物をあげるときに便利なのであえてもらっています。
    Same here!

    >無駄な食品トレイの使用や過剰包装を止めれば良いと思います。
    Same here again 🙂

    Hi Kumi,

    >Yamato-city (trying to unpack the packages of vegetables, meat, fish and other staff to reduce home garbage and throw the packages away in the garbage boxes at the supermarkets). Then in my area, we have to buy a dedicated bag for burnable rubbish.

    I am sorry to hear that you live in a bit inconvenience area, too. Anyway, I am just curious to know about the supermarkets in your area. Does anyone complain them about the packages? I was just wondering if the customers end up throwing the packages right after they bought, why don’t the supermarkets just sell meat and fish without trays?
    Kumiの住んでいるところにあるスーパーは顧客がパッケージとかを捨てて帰るのを見て、過剰包装をやめようとは思わないのかしら???過剰包装をやめれば、スーパーから出るゴミも減るのにね:(

    Hi Biwa and everyone,

    >I’d also like to add “flexibility and a bit of sense of humor”.

    Yes I think so too. The girl you mentioned is brilliant 🙂

    I got to go now.
    I am off to get a massage.

    amo



  47. YU on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 03:21 PM

    Hi Biwa, Kimi and everyone,

    > I know she was trying to say something funny and we all did laugh,

    This morning I went to the kindergarten with my son to take a “ならし保育” lesson. His teacher put many colors of 折り紙 one by one on the chalkboard with a magnet and asked children “What color is this?”. All other children answered, “Red!”, “Blue!”, “Green!”, but only my son answered “the color of magnet” throughout the questions!! I felt a burning shame!!
    I don’t think he doesn’t know the color of 折り紙, but he is just a へそ曲がり!! I guess he likes to find fault with others, just like me!!
    蛙の子は蛙ですね。

    午前中息子が入園予定の幼稚園のならし保育レッスンに参加してきました。先生が黒板にマグネットで色々なカラーの折り紙を貼っていって『これは何色?』と子供たちに聞きました。他の子達はみんな『赤!』『青!』『緑!』と素直に答えているのにうちの息子だけ全部折り紙を留めている”マグネットの色”を答えたのです。顔から火が出るほど恥ずかしかった。
    うちの息子が色を理解していないとは思わないので『へそ曲がりなんだわ、うちの子。』と思いました。おそらく人のあら捜しをするのが好きなんだと思います、まさに私に似て!!
    蛙の子は蛙ってことですね。トホホ。。。

    > I shall say she has a huge linguistic sensibility in her mother tongue in other words. She is a good student for sure, and I guess she has lots of interactions among various people and naturally, that leads her linguistic sensibility to a very good one. (I hope I’m making sense!)

    I agree.
    I think talkative people are also often quick leaners of foreign languages. Do you think is that why women are generally better talented than men in languages?
    おしゃべりな人って外国語習得が早いと思いませんか?多分母国語も。だから一般的に女の人のほうが言語の才能があるのかな?どう思います?



  48. Biwa on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 04:01 PM

    Hi YU,

    >I guess he likes to find fault with others, just like me!!

    I love that! I’m sure you’re son’s going to be a somebody!!

    >Do you think is that why women are generally better talented than men in languages?

    Many people say that, and I’ve heard it has something to do with the larger size of women’s brainstem. (脳幹の太いために右脳と左脳の行き来がスムーズらしいです。本当かしら・・・)
    I believe David has a very large brainstem and also his parents and brothers gave him lots of linguistic gifts!



  49. Biwa on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 04:03 PM

    Sorry, I made a mistake again!
    “you’re son” has to be “your son”!



  50. Kimi on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 08:56 PM

    Hi Biwa

    Thank you for all your trouble of translating my sentences. I love it and can learn a lot from it. ‘lose the lead’ is new to me.

    Hi amo,

    >I was just wondering if the customers end up throwing the packages right after they bought, why don’t the supermarkets just sell meat and fish without trays?

    Actually, I could see people doing it at a certain supermarket. The supermarket had several big trash boxes so that its customer could through the rubbish away in it. However, the other day it went bankrupt. I don’t think the cause was over packing. LOL

    実は、そうやって包みを捨てている光景を見かけていたのは、ある決まったスーパーなんです。そのスーパーには、お客様がごみを捨てられるよう大きなゴミ箱がいくつか置いてありました。が、そのスーパーこの前倒産してしまいました。まさか過剰包装が倒産を招いたとは思いませんが。LOL

    Hi everyone,

    I’m writing about the seminar I last attended. First, we practiced pronunciation, counting aloud from one to ten. It seems that the numbers from 1 to 10 include almost all of the consonants. He showed how to pronounce one by one. I have realized I didn’t pronounce them well. After that, while listening to an interview of Steve Jobs, we dictated some part of it. Then, we practiced shadowing, overlapping and repeating by using the same material. The key about shadowing is that you have to continue it until you can realize its content. (It seemed to be called content shadowing.) By repeating it some more times after you come to be able to do ‘content shadowing’, you can learn more. I will try it from now on. That’s all.

    この前参加したセミナーについて少し書いてみますね。まず、1から10まで声に出しながら発音の練習をしました。これらの数字には子音の殆どが含まれているとのこと。先生にひとつずつしっかり指導していただき、今までいかに適当に発音していたか思い知らされました。その後、スティーブ・ジョブズのインタビューを聞きながら、ディクテーション。続いて、同じ教材を使ってシャドーイング、オーバーラッピング、リピーティングの練習です。シャドーイングをするうえで重要なのは、内容が理解できるようになるまで繰り返すこと、だそうです。(これをコンテンツシャドーイングと呼ぶらしい)さらに、内容が理解できるようになった後も数回繰り返すことで、より深く浸透するみたいです。今後、頑張って実践してみます。(はしょりましたが)ざっとこんなかんじです。

    Anyway, I agree with Biwa and YU about learning foreign languages. In fact, I go to school once a week and have asked my teacher what kind of people would improve quickly. He said that those who can handle Japanese improve more quickly. I remember I felt down listening to it. Haha..

    ところで、外国語習得の件に関しては、BiwaやYUと同感です。実は週に1度学校に通っているのですが(すみません、以前独学で勉強していると書きましたが、学校に通っています。これって独学って言いませんよね。ごめんなさい)先生にどういう人が上達が早いか聞いたことがあります。国語力がある人だって言ってましたね。それを聞いて落ち込んだ覚えがあります。はは、笑いごとじゃないのですが。

    Kimi



  51. Biwa on Thursday November 15th, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Hi Kimi,

    Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned!
    I’ve never tried “overlapping”. Does it mean “reading along”? Anyway, that must be very good practice because I think when you speak English, you use quite different parts of your face muscles from those when you speak Japanese. Also, I’m glad to know that your teacher mentioned about the importance of the Japanese ability, too.

    By the way, I found a mistake in my translation.
    “it’s like start running a full marathon” should be “it’s like to start running a full marathon”. I guess it’s still full of mistakes, so please wait for David’s feedback.



  52. Biwa on Friday November 16th, 2012 at 07:34 AM

    Hi Kimi and everyone,

    ところで、mentionの使い方、いつも悩みます。
    “your teacher mentioned you about the importance”
    “your teacher mentioned the importance about something” が正しい?
    “mention about something”は文法的におかしい?どなたか教えてください。



  53. YU on Friday November 16th, 2012 at 09:52 AM

    Hi David,

    May I ask you a question?
    The answer must be correct in any case, so I’m asking you.
    (絶対に間違えないのであえてDavidに聞きます)

    “She is sitting on the chair between Taro and Hanako.”

    Is this sentence grammatically correct?
    The model answer suggested by my company is ;

    “She is sitting between Taro and Hanako.”

    but I want to know if the sentence(answered by a student) makes sense too.

    I guess she/he wanted to say, 「彼女はTaroとHanakoの間の”イスに”座っている」.
    If the sentence were wrong, how would you say it correctly?

    The peroblem is my company’s policy as follows ;

    “Don’t reduce points as long as the answer is grammatically correct, and when it sounds unnatural, just suggest them a natural sentence.”



  54. David Barker on Friday November 16th, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Hi YU,

    There is nothing wrong with that sentence grammatically, so you could not mark it as incorrect.



  55. YU on Friday November 16th, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Hi David,

    It was a great help.
    Thank you very much!



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