One of the things that confuses people who started to live in Japan is how to dispose of garbage.

In Japan, garbage is roughly divided into four categories: combustible trash, noncombustible trash, recyclable trash, and oversize trash. You can download information about garbage separation and disposal from the website of most city halls. Rules for garbage separation and collection days are determined by each city hall. Most of city halls are distributing posters about garbage disposal. For example, the poster about garbage disposal in Minato ward in Tokyo is below.



Once you have decided where you live in Japan, get a garbage separation list from the city hall or ward office website. If you have anything that you need to make sure, you had better ask the city office staff, your landlord, or your neighbors.

In addition to waste collection by local governments, some supermarkets have recycling programs. These supermarkets collect plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and used paper, etc., and you can also earn points on each supermarket’s point card by bringing your recyclable trash to the supermarket. For example, one of the largest supermarket groups, Aeon, is  working to collect paper cartons, food trays, aluminum cans, PET bottles, etc. at stores in cooperation with customers and local governments. For more details, please visit their website.