Throwing out big rubbish in Japan


For those of you who follow personal Japanese blogs, you’ve no doubt heard all about the rubbish separation and disposal systems in Japan, with one ritual being 粗大ゴミ, sodai gomi, the big rubbish day, with tales of raiding the piles of household furniture and electronics for hidden jewels. With most municipalities now charging for, and with many requiring a special pick-up appointment for disposal of said sodai gomi, iBridge conducted a survey reported on by into online public services for big rubbish pick-up.


On the 23rd of March 2009 300 women from the iBridge monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 19.0% were in their twenties, 51.7% in their thirties, 21.3% in their forties, 6.7% in their fifties, and 1.3% in their sixties.

Since today is the first day of the new year, many other residents of Japan will be in the same boat as me with a change in the disposal rules – our town now requires recyclable plastic and PET bottles separated, and other plastic thrown out as burnables rather than all together as before. Glass separation has increased from two to three categories, plus uncleanable glass like nail polish bottles becomes unburnable rubbish which now gets thrown out with the burnables, I think. Perhaps I should consult the rubbish police?

Research results

Q1: Do you know if your local government allows online big rubbish disposal applications? (Sample size=300)

Yes (to SQ1)10.3%
No (to SQ3)89.7%

This question and the answers are a bit vague as it doesn’t describe those who know (or think they know) that there is no support, or about how many people actually live in an area that allows online application.

Q1SQ1: Have you ever applied for online big rubbish disposal? (Sample size=31)

No (to SQ2)51.6%

Q1SQ2: Why have you not applied for online big rubbish disposal? (Sample size=16, multiple answer)

Simpler to do by telephone531.2%
Data entry is awkward318.8%
Worried about personal information leaking318.8%
Don’t know how to enter data16.2%
Worried about whether or not I’ve actually applied16.2%
Searching for the web page is awkward00.0%

Q1SQ3: If your local government’s web site offered online big rubbish disposal application, would you use it? (Sample size=269)

Don’t know25.7%
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1 Comment »

  1. mike said,
    April 11, 2009 @ 14:27

    We have a lot of recyclable programs here. Newspapers and bottles I recycle all the time.

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