When I first came to Kyoto, how to deal with the garbage was an issue which the school's orientation programme covered with some detail. I recall the course coordinator telling us to follow the rules in handling our garbage if we want to enjoy good relations with our landlord and neighbours.
In Kyoto city, there are garbage bags with "Kyoto City" printed on them that residents have to buy to discard their garbage in. There are basically two types of garbage bags - yellow ones for combustibles and transparent ones for recyclables. There are various sources of information online on how to dispose garbage but it is always good to ask the landlord or neighbour for details as there may be slight differences depending on where you stay.
In my case for example, my landlady lines the garbage bins at my mansion with the designated plastic bags so I don't have to buy them. We can just transfer our garbage from home directly into the bins. As we have a "centralised" garbage disposal system at my mansion in which my landlady will clear the garbage bins and put out the garbage for collection, we don't have to be concerned with garbage collection dates either.
Typically, on the morning of garbage collection, properly tied garbage bags placed along the streets at designated collection points are a common sight. The garbage collection trucks will collect these bags from the streets.
|A garbage collection point along a street. The yellow plate hung on the railing |
shows the collection date for different types of garbage.
As garbage disposal in my case is almost as routine as how it has been in Singapore, it has never really occurred to me to write about garbage collection until I came across this particular sight downtown, at the busy Shijo Kawaramachi shopping street (see picture below).
|McDonald's garbage piled up in front of the restaurant at the Shijo Kawaramachi|
I was alittle taken aback by the sight as I thought the garbage affected the look and feel of this bustling shopping street popular with locals and tourists. It also led me to wonder why garbage trucks have to collect garbage from the main street and not from the back street. I guess it probably boils down to efficiency, that it may be quicker to collect the garbage from the main street than to ply through back streets.
In any case, I do think the bags of garbage piled up in front of shops in a shopping street look really out of place...