Hoarding can be seen in every culture. We all know at least one person who refuses to part with their material possessions and collects a little too much stuff, ultimately cluttering up their room. It’s a bit different from that person who never cleans their room, because it’s a much more intense level. Hoarding is common in America, and there are even TV shows that highlight and follow the lives of people who hoard animals, clothes and other objects.
Japan has the same problem, except rather than hoarding stuff, people tend to hoard trash. Or rather, they push off throwing away their trash for months and months until it reaches a point that can no longer be ignored. In Japan, rooms filled with trash are called “gomibeya” or “gomiheya”, which both literally mean “trash room”.
A lot of Japanese people who live on their own and work full time can get very lazy and complacent. There is no one to nag them to clean, and it’s just them so why bother doing something as bothersome as cleaning up? The room’s going to get dirty again eventually.
Japan has a lot of strict rules when it comes to trash disposal though, so when trash builds up to an exorbitant amount I can kind of understand a few of the reasons why, although it doesn’t necessarily justify letting yourself go like that. Trash collection is usually done everyday on weekdays only, with different types of trash being collected on different days. And this schedule depends on where you live. You also have to pay for trash bags depending on your district rules, which means going out of your way to buy correct bags for the correct type of trash.
Sorting out trash can be a big pain. At the very least, most places require that plastics, burnables, non-burnables, cans, and pet bottles be separated. And you have to throw these different trashes out on different days. So if you miss the day for throwing out all your plastic ramen cups, you have to wait for an entire week before you get the chance to do it again.
There is also the collection time. Most garbage trucks come out around early in the morning or early afternoon at the latest. So if you had a long day of work or can’t get up in the morning to save yourself and just take the trash outside, you will miss the opportunity to have your trash collected. Trash is not allowed to be left outside overnight as crows WILL get to the bags, tear them up in search of food, and leave a huge mess of garbage in the streets. Your trash will also not be collected and shamefully labeled with a big, yellow tag if it is the incorrect type, so trash life here can be pretty tough and takes a lot of getting used to.