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Wasting Away: Waste Disposal in Japan

One of the first noticeable differences from the US that I saw after coming to Japan was the public waste disposal system. Trash cans are not as widely present as in America, but they are always kept tidy and neat. More importantly, almost every waste disposal system has at least 3 sections: one for bottles and cans, one for plastic products, and one for combustible products. Despite these waste disposal locations not being as prevalent as in the US, Japan’s culture of group harmony means that nobody litters but holds onto their garbage until they are able to dispose of it...

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Burning up the Trash in Japan

Over the past few decades, the amount of trash our society has generated has grown significantly. In an effort to preserve the environment, both the United States and Japan, both highly developed countries, have placed a tremendous effort into promoting recycling and reducing the amount of waste that is generated. However, through my time spent in both countries, it is clear that there are differences that exist in their approach to trash disposal.

Having traveled throughout Japan, it is evident that there are few trashcans in public areas. However, the streets remain in pristine...

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Disposing Waste in the US and Japan: Is Either Way Right?

Since being in Japan, I have noticed many differences in the ways trash is handled as compared to the US. One of the first things I noticed was that there seem to be hardly any public trash cans. So, when someone eats a candy bar, for example, they must carry around the wrapper all day until they find a trash can, or more likely, until they get home and can dispose of it in their personal waste bin. There are few options for disposing of trash when in public. However, more frequently, there are places where plastic bottles can be recycled, such as next to vending machines.

In...

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Waste Disposal in Japan and the US

The US system of municipal solid waste disposal is much different than in Japan. We have a lot of space, so we can afford to throw everything in a landfill. Japan, on the other hand, burns a lot of their trash to save more space and produce energy. I’ve personally found it difficult to organize my trash correctly in public places. Especially in the first week when I didn’t know they burned their garbage. Organizing trash is much easier with pictures and I find that true at Georgia Tech too where we have pictures in some places. Sorting trash has been easier now that we are...

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Taking Out the Trash: Solid Waste Management in Japan vs. the United States

          Solid waste management is a crucial element of a society’s framework because it is vital to the protection of public health as well as the maintenance of community aesthetics. Japan and the United States have implemented some similar policies for the management of municipal solid waste, but due to the divergent cultures of the two countries, disparities exist in how these policies are actually employed. During my time in Japan, I have witnessed ways in which solid waste management differs between Japan and the United States, primarily in realms such...

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Regional Differences in Japan and America

After travelling through the Keihanshin and Greater Tokyo megaregions in Japan, it is easy to notice some differences between the two. Even though there are no formal boundaries to these two megaregions, you can still have an idea of which one you’re in by the differences in culture. While there isn’t one exact reason for these differences, it is likely that some of these are caused by varying locations and environments.

The Keihanshin and Greater Tokyo...

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Regional Culture: Keihanshin and Greater Tokyo

Bustling Osaka streets

Although Japan is known for having an extremely homogenous population with an ancient and relatively rigid culture, there are a few noticeable differences in the traditions and lifestyles practiced in its major megaregions. After growing accustomed to many of the social norms and etiquette in Tokyo, I have been surprised by some conflicting experiences so far in Kobe. As we learned in class, there is a certain rivalry and tension that exists between the...

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