My new neighbourhood comes with brand-new responsibilities. And this month, I’m responsible for garbage duty.
As I surely mentioned before, Kyoto apartment buildings or private homes don’t use garbage bins. Instead, you must buy individual bags – yellow for burnable waste, transparent for recyclables – and put those out at the designated spots on the designated collection days.
In a neighbourhood like mine, each of 5 to 10 households brings their garbage bags to their own spot, and they all are responsible to keep the place clean. This means mostly preparing the net under which the bags should be stored before pickup (from morning to whenever the garbage truck arrives) and putting it away again afterwards. Unless the crows get to the garbage before the truck and rip the bags open to find delicacies, it’s not a big deal. Except that you have to do it almost daily: In our neighbourhood, different types of garbage are collected from Tuesday to Friday.
I expected to be on garbage duty eventually, since it rotates through all the households using a particular spot. Yet, I did not expect this lovely introduction kindly provided by my neighbour:
I also got a sign that says ゴミ当番 (garbage duty) and that I should display at my house; probably in case something goes wrong, so people know where to complain. In any case, it seems I’m becoming an integrated part of the neighbourhood faster than I had thought…