What it takes to implement city-wide garbage sorting
Derek Hammer

Plastic, cans, glass, papers. One would think that sorting trash into the above four categories is good enough. But in Japan, that comes a with a fine and a red sticker of shame.

Due to geographical constraint, Japan does not have enough space for landfills. Incineration is too costly to be promoted nationwide. In a bid to promote recycling and reduce waste, some cities in Japan have raised the number of trash categories up to 34.

Despite the dizzying amount of trash categories, garbage sorting in Japan is widely practiced and is regarded as a civic duty. Though the law stipulates that those who repeatedly violate the trash sorting rule may be fined, in reality, the red stickers of shame are widely used to encourage people to comply.