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4 Things You Should Know about Garbage Disposal in Japan





When it comes to garbage disposal in Japan, many foreigners get confused with the complicated system of garbage separation and recycling. 


After moving to Japan, would you ever like to get in trouble with the landlord or management company because of the garbage? I suppose no (I’m Mika from ADDVALUE CO, LTD. by the way!).  I personally have lived in Canada for a year and a half, and it was pretty simple to take out the garbage. However, Japan could be a little bit of a challenge. The real estate agency tells you how to separate, and when or where to take out the garbage, so this article won’t share anything like that, but further tips of garbage disposal that will make your life easier.



①Garbage Bags


Is it okay to put your garbage in any kind of plastic bag? NOPE. Depending on where you live, the cities and wards have a specific type of bag you have to use for garbage. Many wards in Tokyo do not specify the type of bags, but even so, make sure to use  transparent or white (milky white also works). Why…? Well, because the workers who take the garbage want to see if everything is well-separated and organized in there! You might be wondering where you can get the garbage bags right now. There are several places where you can buy them: supermarkets, pharmacies and 100yen shops! There you go! Those places have pleeeeeeeenty of types (but remember, transparent, white or milky white).



②Over-sized Garbage

Not all garbage is free to take out. For example, larger items (or just different types of items) like home appliances, blankets, futons etc. can’t be just on the street! Basic way to take out those items is to book and set the schedule (on the website) to take out, buy the oversized garbage sticker in a convenience store (about 200yen to 300yen if they aren’t giant), put it on the item and take it out on the date you set. The cost differs depending on the size. Also, when you move into a new apartment and have many garbage bags to take out after unpacking everything, it is out of the rule to take out all at once on the same day. Every city has their own rules about how many pieces per day you are allowed to take out. Those regulations are easy to find on official websites and such.



③Specific Rules of Separation 

Some items require a little bit more effort to take out or, I should say, to know exactly when to take them out! For example, bottles. You have to take labels and caps apart from the bottles as they are different types of garbage. The way to dispose cardboards is also irregular, as it goes with recycle items, not combustible (some areas allow either). If you do not separate your garbage well, they might not take it and the garbage is left in the place, which makes the city dirty and smelly for a few days… Wouldn’t you feel bad for your neighbors? Oh, and one more thing! Food waste, due to the big amount of waterish stuff it can carry, should be thrown in a special bag with a bunch of holes at the bottom. So we always buy those, put them inside our sink in the kitchen, and just throw all the food waste inside. Then, every night we just throw that one into a regular, transparent one. There is a specific plastic bag with a bunch of small holes to put your food waste inside, and you can get them in supermarkets, pharmacies, and 100yen shops!



④Useful Apps 

It is easy to forget the days to take out the garbage early morning on busy days. To solve this problem, there is an useful app called “ゴミの日アラーム” (“Garbage Day Alarm”) which I highly recommend! It reminds you of taking out the garbage twice, on the day and the day before. Download this app for free from the link down below and don’t let your apartment to stink!



iPhone download

Android download 



Hope this helps to solve any of your questions! Please feel free to send us messages if you have questions, or let us know what kind of content you would like to see in the future! 




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