02 July, 2017

Shaming cleans up our city?

Tomorrow is the first day of a new system of rubbish collection in our city. Up till last October all rubbish was put out at community rubbish stations. Some of these were really badly positioned (like on the road). And some got quite messy, like the one below.

I took this photo today while on our way to church. It used to have green, blue, and pink bins in it like the photo below, but these were removed in October. Alas someone or some people aren't following the rules.
Last October our city (Higashi Kurume) began a transition to all rubbish being collected from in front of your house. Tomorrow is the first day that all rubbish (except milk cartons and styrofoam) are collected from in front of your house.

My curious boys wondered about this: "Why?" I asked a Japanese friend and she didn't hesitate before saying, "Shame." 

She went on to explain that if you put out the wrong rubbish or if the crows get into it, it is clear whose responsibility it is to clean it up. They also might be hoping to reduce the amount of rubbish put out by people. Tokyo, like most big cities, has the nightmare of rubbish disposal with little space. She also wondered, out loud, if people might be inclined not to drink so much as a pile of beer cans outside your house is also potentially embarrassing.
This is what a community rubbish disposal centre used to look like. These colour-coded bins are all gone now.
I wonder if Australians would yield to such tactics? 

I did show her a video of our wheelie bins and she was intrigued. Those get smelly too, but at least household rubbish is generally not strewn along the road as can happen here. Yes, I know, Japan has the reputation for being clean and tidy and not without reason, it generally is. Shame is a big motivating factor in keeping your little corner of the city clean.

There are two other changes in rubbish collection. They've reorganised the schedule, David kindly created a nice little chart for the side of our fridge.

From October rubbish disposal will cost us too, we'll have to buy three types of pre-printed  bags to put our rubbish in.

No comments: