Beginning from the first of November, new guildelines and schedules for trash collection have come into effect. As the specifics and schedules are too complex to give all of the details in a small space, only the main points will be dealt with here. Detailed instructions in English are available from the various city offices, kominkans and information centers.
The basic plan is essentially the same as before, with "combustible" (food wastes, paper, etc.), "non-combustible" (various non-recyclable junk), plastics and recyclable cans, plastic bottles, newspapers and old clothing. Larger items, such as small refrigerators, bicyles, furniture, etc. are also collected on certain days, but environmentally harmful items such as batteries and motor oil are not accepted. You basically have to find your own way for that, such as having a commercial waste company come to pick them up. The city will accept old flourescent light bulbs, but you have to take them to the city office yourself. One rather enigmatic guideline under the "combustible" category is "disposable diapers, sanitary napkins (clean off the excreta)". Lot's of luck on that one! Are they requiring the sanitation workers to check before accepting them? Compliance on that request will no doubt be essentially zero!
As for collection schedules, the city is divided into three districts labeled A, B, and C. These basically follow the old municiple bounderies of the pre-merger townships, with Area A being Toyosato, Oho and Tsukuba, Area B being Yatabe, and Area C being Sakura. The explanation sheets list the collection calendar for the year beginning in November and are color coded to indicate on which days specific types of items are to be collected.
The most noticable difference between the new and old systems is that the regular "combustible" item collection days have been reduced from three to two times per week. Also, there is to be much less mixing of different categories (as was commonly done before, where many items just ended up being squished into the same truck). On certain days, only plastics or only recyclable items will be collected. So get your own explanation sheet and tape it in a convenient place.
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