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  • Hello, world.

  • Where I'm from in Japan, this is how we recycle.

  • Okay, let me stop Aiko right there.

  • What she doesn't know is that this is her first lesson on the path to become a...

  • ...in Japan! It's actually a requirement of residency.

  • And it all starts... with a guide!

  • Let's get the recycling guide.

  • Yes.

  • Haha!

  • I got it.

  • In this calendar, it shows all the tips and how you can recycle.

  • So as mentioned, the program gives you a calendar recycling guide that's every student's go-to cheat sheet.

  • Waste management in its basic form is divided into four main categories:

  • "Pura" (プラ) which means plastics.

  • Then recyclables, which has everything from glass bottles to tin cans to plastic PET bottles.

  • Combustible waste which is everything that CAN be burned.

  • And incombustible waste, which is everything that CAN'T be burned.

  • Within each category, you're given examples of the types of goods that can be found within each one.

  • If you look at packaging on items you purchase, they'll indicate how items can be recycled.

  • So, what I'll start Aiko off with today is what to do with a drink bottle once you've finished drinking it.

  • But first, she has to drink it.

  • And this is "Calpis" and... I can drink it, Daddy?

  • You can drink some.

  • Yaaay.

  • But why did we get it, though?

  • So we can recycle it.

  • Okay, drink some and then we'll recycle.

  • Sour! Oh, wait. Not sour.

  • So like cola...?

  • Fizzy.

  • Fizzy, fizzy! Yeah!

  • Aiko's done drinking, and now she needs to wash and take apart the bottle.

  • This is how I like to do it.

  • Okay, so the bottle is "PET" and the cap is "pura" (plastic).

  • And then what about the wrapper?

  • The wrapper is plastic, too.

  • You mean "pura."

  • Yeah. And then there's a thing here that says "koko kara hagasemasu,"

  • and that means you can take it off from here.

  • I can't take it very good.

  • You're dry now. I don't need you.

  • At our home, we have several areas where we collect recyclables.

  • It's in a somewhat organized system.

  • However, we haven't done some types of recycling for a month or two, so we have lots of stuff to go through.

  • So in this next step in the "Waste Management Program,"

  • Aiko will go to all our home's collection points and gather our recyclables.

  • Where's all the recyclables go?

  • In here.

  • Okay, well let's get them.

  • Pull it out.

  • I know it's a big mess 'cause we haven't done it in two weeks.

  • We kind of missed a week.

  • It doesn't come out.

  • Just pull it!

  • Come on!

  • Go! There ya go.

  • Oh no...

  • Okay, just... yeah, yeah.

  • And we made a mess...

  • That's good. Now put that in the living room.

  • Oh.

  • Yep, let's go.

  • We have pink knives now?!

  • (laughs) Yeah, we do.

  • Well, I like the black knives better.

  • Okay. Next round! Let's get more!

  • We need to get all--

  • Are we gonna go like this?

  • No...

  • Oh. I thought everyone did that...

  • Fine, you just did it.

  • Ah, I don't like this. I don't like this! It's dirty!!

  • It's... It's... not that dirty. They're all washed out.

  • So go and get them off of there.

  • I don't like this. They're sticky.

  • Sticky, sticky...

  • You have to have paper--oh, there you go!

  • (laughter)

  • Paper...

  • Here...

  • This is just an old paper.

  • No! It's not garbage paper! It's recycle paper!

  • What?!

  • Okay?

  • But we're not done yet, Aiko!

  • What?

  • There's more!

  • Okay, in the cupboard behind you, we got more stuff.

  • What?!

  • It's true.

  • Too much garbage...

  • Yeah, all the paper we--

  • (laughter)

  • Those are boxes. Let's do 'em.

  • And all this stuff.

  • And this?

  • Yup.

  • Come on.

  • This?

  • Yup. Come on...

  • Yes, yes. That too. Come on. Everything.

  • Pizza!

  • Oh, garbage, how?!

  • Don't throw that.

  • Well, I wanna use some of these jars...

  • Okay, well maybe we'll keep some of those.

  • Reusing is a good point, Aiko!

  • But you're getting ahead of yourself.

  • We still need to collect more.

  • More!!

  • But Aiko, that's not it. We have more.

  • Why...?

  • Okay, come this way.

  • How many cupboards do we have?!

  • Just bring that.

  • (groans)

  • We have so much plastic that one side of our garbage can is for burnable garbage,

  • but the other side is for "pura," which is the Japanese name for "plastic."

  • Okay. And one more.

  • One more...

  • Okay, so get the paper now.

  • Okay, let's go.

  • I like mushing it!

  • Now that Aiko has collected all the recyclables into the sorting area,

  • she must now divide them into the four main categories, and then the sub-categories beneath!

  • Just because paper falls under recyclables, it can't be thrown in willy-nilly with tin cans,

  • or even other paper-based products.

  • We have this mess, and we're gonna use our guide to sort it out.

  • Okay...

  • It's kinda stinky... bwuh!

  • Okay, you're taking too long. I'm gonna help.

  • The task of sorting is done. Congratulations!

  • But now packaging must take place.

  • For example, milk cartons need to be cut up.

  • So we got everything in a pile.

  • And now we gotta organize it...

  • Yes...

  • So one thing you need to do is these milk cartons... they can't be like that.

  • That there, Aiko? That's what you need to cut your box like.

  • Yeah...

  • So I guess you just...

  • What...?

  • Oh, I did it wrong, I think.

  • Okay, so this is how you do it.

  • I don't know about this part...

  • Got it in the back...

  • That was kind of good enough.

  • See this?

  • Not perfect.

  • Okay, let me try another one.

  • That looks like it!

  • Yeah, it does...

  • And a present!

  • Okay.

  • Present!

  • This can be the Christmas present!

  • No, it's not...

  • Next we've got these plastic bottles.

  • And next...

  • Some things you can put in plastic bags, but with paper the default for some reason...

  • ...is to either bundle it up with string, or to shove it into gift bags.

  • Which there is no shortage of in Japan.

  • So put all this paper in that paper bag.

  • Put it in that?

  • Yeah, yeah. Put that into this.

  • Yeah, yeah.

  • No, that's heavy--No, come on!

  • You're horrible at this!

  • There you go.

  • Here.

  • So all you have to do is do this...

  • Okay!

  • So what you do is try to put the boxes inside the boxes.

  • You have strong arms!

  • Okay!

  • You forgot the Christmas present that we made!

  • For bad kids.

  • (laughter)

  • So what's the end result of all our efforts?

  • Aiko will show you.

  • Oh, wait. She won't.

  • I wanna film it!

  • You wanna film me?

  • Yeah.

  • Okay, hold it...

  • I like doing this stuff...

  • So this is PET bottles.

  • Ow!

  • (laughter)

  • This is cardboard.

  • These are glass.

  • This is tetra pack.

  • These are batteries which we can't recycle normally. We'll have to do them special recycle day around.

  • That is aluminum cans.

  • You'll notice "horoyoi," my favorite.

  • This is "pura."

  • More "pura" plastic.

  • These are tin cans.

  • This is just kind of regular paper.

  • We've separated everything into these different--

  • This category, this category... and the batteries kind of go into this category, I believe.

  • Or maybe even a special...

  • It probably doesn't even fall into this category, honestly.

  • So that is recycling.

  • Yeah.

  • Oh, what? You think that's it?

  • That you're done learning? Hahahaha!

  • (coughing)

  • Where waste management gets complicated is that not everything fits neatly into those four main categories.

  • There are several pages in the cheat sheet devoted to all the specialty items.

  • Whether they be large furniture, electronics, scooters, bikes or batteries.

  • Any regular, burnable garbage that can't fit in a 50 liter garbage bag needs a special sticker on it

  • which you pay extra for and gets picked up separately.

  • Throughout a typical city block, you'll find several collection points that are shared by many households.

  • You can clearly see that every group has their own way of doing things.

  • Obviously, many citizens are still in training.

  • As with any training program, you do it with the hopes of turning your knowledge into sweet, sweet cash.

  • (coins clatter)

  • People learn to do it in different ways.

  • There's the crushers, donators, scavengers and crew.

  • Shin is a crusher.

  • And you put it in here...

  • He likes going to our local grocery store.

  • It gives him the pleasure of demolishing PET bottles in exchange for 2 Yen per crush.

  • While we can get paid for our PET bottles, we're not offered the same for our aluminium cans.

  • Luckily, our school knows some people that can, and we donate our cans to them.

  • You'll also see scavengers, riding around on their bikes, collecting stuff like aluminum cans and paper.

  • Once the scavengers have gone through the recyclables, the city crew comes by and picks everything up.

  • They don't grab everything up at once, though, as there are special crews for each type of good.

  • Paper products will be picked up on one truck; plastic bottles on another; and so on.

  • We were lucky enough to cross paths with a paper recycling crew one day!

  • Oddly enough, one of the guys was named Justin Bieber.

  • I'm Justin!

  • I'm Justin Bieber!

  • [Japanese:] Ah, that's not true!

  • It's nice to see people enjoy their job.

  • I'm Justin!

  • [Japanese:] Are you memorizing something?

  • Okay!

  • After they finish collecting the recyclables, they go to a paper recycling plant that looks like this!

  • [Japanese:] Softly!

  • So we've talked about recycling, but something else you can do with your recyclables is to reuse them!

  • And in Japan, we've seen items reused for various purposes.

  • For example, we often see PET bottles that are filled up with water and left around homes.

  • Aiko thinks they're used for drinking water in the case of an earthquake,

  • while I've heard that they're used to scare away stray cats.

  • I don't know why you'd want to protect a telephone pole or this piece of cement from cats...

  • ...but I could see the point if you're talking about flowers.

  • Another item that I often see reused is Styrofoam containers.

  • Apparently, they're a decent substitute for planters.

  • In our house, we collect newspaper from the grandparents.

  • (All the news we get is digital!)

  • So that we have something to go under Aiko and Shin's "shuuji" papers, which is calligraphy.