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Japanese Rubbish Disposal System

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Recycling acts as a very crucial role in the global social order. Rubbish is a very big issue and many countries are designing ways that can be used to keep the situation at hand in control. Japan is termed as a model country in issues to do with recycling. Their efforts to conserve the environment have been able to surpass many countries in the world. Recently, Japan has passed a number of rules and regulations that have been of help to the country’s issues of recycling.

The passed laws have been of great favour to Japan in that they have yielded positive and projected results. Throughout the enforcement of the practiced laws, the country is sending at least 16% only of its solid wastes to the landfills compared to other developed countries. The process of recycling in Japan is more advanced than any other country in the world. The wastes, the rubbish are separated in various categories so as to hasten the recycling process and in order to reduce the wastes that are sending to the landfills.

Japanese rubbish disposal system

Japan is considered as one of the most advanced countries in the world in issues to do with garbage disposal. They have a policy on how their garbage should be classified so that they can be disposed. The government of Japan had a very rough time when the policy was first passed to be the law of the country. It was very difficult to administer and to teach everyone mastering the art of disposing their waste. The people were used to their normal way of disposing and this became a real challenge.  Just like it would happen in any other country, Japan managed to implement this policy and train their people to practice it.

Refuse classification

The waste disposal procedure is divided into four distinct parts; those that can be able to be burned for example scraps that are mainly household, wastes that cannot be able to be burned, those that are made of plastic such as wrapping and wastes that can be recycled like magazines, tissues, newspapers and much more.

It is a very complex process but the Japanese people are now used to it and they practice it without any supervision. It has become part of their culture and part of their life and it is observed on a regular basis by the Japanese citizens.

Apart from categorizing the garbage material, there is also a procedure that is followed so that one can dispose. Each family is supposed to put their wastes outside the gate before 8am in the morning. However, they are not supposed to put it out the previous night for reasons that are said to be of hygiene. When one does that, the neighbours’ complaint to the relevant authorities and action is taken against the person that has done that.

Furthermore, there are different trucks for different wastes. There are those which collect the recyclable materials, the combustible, the incombustible and the plastic ones.  The disposal bags are found in the shops or stores and everyone buys them their according to the type of waste to be disposed.

For heavy materials that one wishes to dispose, there are special arrangements with the relevant agencies that deal with the kind of material that one wished to dispose. For such arrangements, one pays an extra fee. The trucks that collected such wastes are in circulation every twice a month.  This trash classification process was put in place because of the huge Japanese population. It was difficult for the government or the trash collectors to collect the garbage and to sort them out after that. It was cumbersome and as a result most of the wastes were left lying all over the place which was harmful to the health of the people around. It was also hazardous for the environment in that there was a lot of pollution before this law was passed.

For the trashes like food stuffs, they are collected twice a week and are referred to as bi-disposals by the people of Japan. This is because of the rate at which those trashes are disposed in household. For those that do not rot first they are picked once a week by the specified trucks. There are designated areas where the trash is put so that the trucks can pick and dispose them. For plastic bags, there are people who inspect them so as to ensure that there are only plastic materials in the appropriate bags so as to make the process of sorting and recycling easy. (Bewick, 1980)

Transferring the rubbish to electricity

Research was later done on the probability of converting biomass like waste food to electricity and it was verified that it was possible. The process of treating such wastes is referred to as incineration which involved the ignition of organic matters that are found in the disposed materials. It involves the use of high temperature system of treatment which is referred to as thermal handling. This process converts all the waste to gas, heat and ashes.

The inorganic materials of the waste are the ones that form ashes. The gases that are emitted to the air are cleaned first so as not to pollute the environment. The heat that is produced in all this processes can be used in the generation of electricity. The process of waste categorization in Japan makes it easy for the factories that take part in waste recycling to be able to recycle at ease. The separation process ensures that the equipments that are used do not get spoiled fast.

The incineration process makes the solid mass to be reduced in size from the mass of the original.The trash is compressed when they are being collected. Therefore, when incineration takes place, it does not reduce the mass drastically.

Japanese are known worldwide for their ability to recycle about everything that they use. They recycle about 50% of their products in whichever form. For example the Toyota car model is made from almost everything that is recyclable in Japan.

Transferring food wastes to agricultural fertilizers

The food wastes that are disposed at the landfills can be converted to manure that are usable in agricultural practices. They are put in the landfills for some time where they decompose. When they have decamped, they undergo decay which then becomes organic manure. The decomposed products can also be used to produce the methane gas which can be used to reduce the greenhouse emission. The organic manure that is extracted from this process is very lawn and contains almost all the nutrients that are key to products. They do not contain any synthetic kind of chemicals that can degenerate the soil.

Due to the small land mass of Japan and the huge population, it cannot be afforded to locate a lot of landfills for their waste. They therefore maximize on the little space they have and also ensure that the land continues to be productive without exposing any chemicals to degenerate the soil.

In the industrial areas, many metals are reused over and over again. Japan is classified as one of the countries in the world that possess a lot of minerals although they do not mine them. They extract them from disposed phones and other house appliances. They have set up urban mines whose work is to extract metals that are rare to be found like tungsten and platinum from unused cell phones and other little electric devices that are used in homes and also from the catalytic converters of vehicles. The inorganic materials of the waste are the ones that form ashes. The gases that are emitted to the air are cleaned first so that they do not pollute the environment. The heat that is produced in all this process can be used in the generation of electricity. The process of waste categorization in Japan makes it easy for the factories that take part in waste recycling enabling them recycle at ease. The separation process ensures that the equipments that are used do not get spoiled fast.

People are encouraged to keep all their spoilt appliances like cameras, TVs, radios and others so that they can be collected and used in the industries for the purpose of recycling.  When in the recycling centre, they are shredded and combined to produce a new product that is usable again.


The Japan model of waste recycling is one of the most reputable and viable for the world in the 21st century. It can be adopted by mainly developed countries so that they can reduce the amount of waste that they emit to the environment. This can go a long way in reducing the global warming that is currently a threat to the world’s climate. It can also be very viable in reducing soil degeneration that comes as a result of chemical disposal to the soil. Japan therefore, in a nutshell has become the example that the world need to learn from as we all work towards a sustainable environment.

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