Engineering Manager | Trail Runner | Stockholm, Sweden


I received a very ugly photocopied paper in my mailbox informing me that the Rules of Garbage Collection have changed and Failure to Comply will result in Severe Punishment. From now on garbage can only be placed at the appropriate Clean Stations in the Kobe City Municipal Designated Household Garbage Collection Bag (神戸市家庭系ごみ指定袋). The bags can be purchased at local supermarkets in three types. Red for burnable garbage (including plastic), green for non-burnable garbage (glass, chemicals), and finally blue for cans and PET bottles.

Now don’t be mistaken: there are still separate locations for the different garbage types. One can’t just place any bag at the closest drop-off point. The collection is still done on three distinct days at separate designated points once or twice a week between 5 am and 8 am. There is just the added requirement to use the new plastic bags.

My biggest problem with this all is that the bags are just huge: 45 liters. I probably produce 45 liters worth of litter in two weeks or so. So now the options are either to let the garbage rot until I fill the bag or just use a fraction of its capacity. The bags are of course pricey.

Exactly what this country needs is More Rules.