Living Infomation

Comprehensive Living Guide for Foreign Residents in Japan

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Trash collection

A household chore that commonly poses problems is how to put out the trash. To establish cordial relations with others in the community you should follow the local regulations for trash collection.

Trash separation rules

In Tokyo, trash (gomi) has to be divided into three categories (combustible trash, non-combustible trash, recyclable trash) for proper disposal. Each category is collected separately on a designated day.
*Some communities may differentiate combustible/noncombustible garbage (kanen gomi/funen gomi) by calling them moeru gomi/moenai gomi, moyasu gomi/moyasanai gomi or moyaseru gomi/moyasenai gomi.

Combustible trash (moeru gomi)
Kitchen garbage, paper, wood, etc.

Non-combustible trash (moenai gomi)
Glass, chinaware, metals, etc.

Recyclable trash (shigen gomi)
Bottles, cans, PET bottles, newspaper, etc.

Trash separation rules and how to dispose of trash vary depending on the community; contact your local authority for details about local trash rules.

How to dispose of your trash

To dispose of your trash, you are required to use trash bags designated by your local authority. Take your trash to a designated pickup point on the morning of the scheduled collection day. Trash in the wrong bag may not be picked up.

Oversize trash (sodai gomi)

To dispose of oversize trash, such as furniture or bicycles, contact the municipal’s Oversize Waste Reception Center to arrange a special pickup service for a fee. The fee for a special pickup service may vary by community and also by type of items you wish to dispose; make sure to ask the authority about the exact fee when you arrange the service.

Four major home appliances, which are air conditioners, TV sets, refrigerators/freezers, and washing machines/clothes dryers, cannot be picked up as oversize trash. If replacing these items with new ones, ask the store where you purchased the new appliance to collect the old one. If you only need to dispose of the old appliance, ask the store where it was originally purchased to collect it. If you don't know where the item was purchased, contact your local authority and ask about an appropriate procedure (residents of the Tokyo 23 wards should contact the Home Appliance Recycling Center).

To recycle personal computers, request the collection of your computer from its manufacturer.

For details about local regulations for trash categories, collection schedules and recycling systems, contact the trash collection/recycling authority or department in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside.
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