In my Sept. 17 column in the Japan Times, I explained why it’s both illegal and unkind to help yourself to something that’s been put out for 粗大ゴミ sodai gomi (over-size trash) collection. Bummer, right? I mean, Japanese throw out the nicest things!
The most obvious way is dump your drek is to have your municipality haul it away. But as I explained in my column, this requires advance preparation and some phone work in Japanese. You also have to pay for it. There’s a reasonably good explanation of the process here, although unfortunately it’s Tokyo specific. (If someone’s got a better link, please let me know.) If you’ve only got a few items to toss, municipal collection may end up being the easiest of your not so easy-options. But if you’ve got a lot of stuff, buying all those 粗大ゴミ処理件 sodai gomi shoriken (oversized garbage payment coupons) really adds up.
~ My last suggestion for now is to use English-language websites to find people who want your stuff. Craigslist offers free classifieds for selling and giveaways, with separate sites for Tokyo, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Osaka, Nagoya, Sendai, Sapporo and Okinawa. Freecycle also has a Japan-specific site in English. I’ve given away a lot of computer stuff this way, which is otherwise even harder to dispose of. In fact, disposing of computer parts (and batteries) deserves a whole ‘nuther post.
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Comment: Craigslist on Okinawa??? Thanks for the heads up Alice, I got dibs on the slot machines!!!