Remember how I was stressing about not putting out the five different arcane types of garbage correctly? Well, this is what happens if you screw up! Your trash is shamefully left behind with big colorful notes on it to tell you what you did wrong!
The yellow note says that the kind of trash in the white bag isn’t allowed to be thrown away in the recycling pick-up and must be put out on non-burnable trash day. The purple note admonishes the scofflaw to sort his/her garbage before putting it out for collection. See that orange oil bottle through the plastic? It’s made of recyclable plastic, but the garbage owner just tossed it willy-nilly into the recyclables bag without washing it first. Big no-no. If you’re going to be lazy, that sort of thing has to be concealed in the burnable trash, under the umbrella of “plastic with unremovable food stains.”
Naturally, when I spotted these left behind in front of my building, I scurried over to examine the bags to make sure it wasn’t MY garbage that had been rejected. Whew, it wasn’t. I do live with the fear that everybody THINKS it was mine, though, since I’m one of the few foreigners in the neighborhood.
Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!