Sorting and putting out garbage and recycling are two of the most nightmarish prospects of life in Japan. But thanks to the Clean Center, aka Ecora, (エコラ, ekora) in Tsubata, you no longer have to stress about throwing away those nasty old futons your predecessor left or figuring out how to toss that lamp you never really liked. Have a three month build-up of PET bottles and aluminum cans? You can dump those, too.
For those who moved into apartments with 14 years of garbage or have allowed 1-4 years of it to build up, read on. Your life is about to change.
The Clean Center is open from 9am-4pm on weekdays and 10am-3pm on Saturdays. It’s closed on Sundays and national holidays.
The Clean Center is located at the northern edge of Tsubata town, about 1 minute from the Kahoku border and 5 minutes from Kahoku AEON. You’ll definitely need a car—or a friend with a car—to access it, but it’ll be worth the favor.
From Kanazawa, take the 8 towards Tsubata; it will eventually turn into the 159 and signs will indicate you’re headed towards Kahoku. You’re in the right area. At the Hachiban Ramen (8番ラーメン) intersection in Kahoku, take a left and go straight until you reach the Sunkus conbini. Take another left and follow a windy road until you see the following sign:
You’ve arrived! Take a right into the facility.
Make sure you have roughly sorted your garbage before arriving!
Sorting is part of the problem you may be having but at least try to get the things you’re dumping in some semblance of order. If it’s metal/has cords or batteries/is ceramic or you have no idea, it’s probably non-burnable (もやせないごみ, moyasei gomi). If it’s a futon or other bedding/furniture with no metal in it/clothing, it’s almost certainly burnable (もえるごみ, moeru gomi). All recycling should be washed and separated (clear glass, colored glass, PET bottles, cardboard boxes should be smashed down, etc.).
When you arrive…
Look for the 受付 (uketsuke) signs as you enter the complex. You’ll stop at a small reception shack where your car will be weighed and you’ll receive a plastic ticket. Tell the attendant what garbage/recycling you’ve brought and which town/city you are from. Don’t worry if you don’t speak much Japanese; you can just point and the attendant make come out to help you identify what you’ve brought. Depending on the type of materials you’ve brought to be dumped, the attendant will direct you to one of two buildings.
If you have non-burnables and/or recyclables as well as burnable items in your car, you’ll need to go to the non-burnables and recycling building first. Once you unload your garbage in that building, you need to go to the reception shack where your car will be weighed again. Then you’ll be directed to the building where you can dump your burnable garbage.
Once you’ve dumped all of your garbage, stop at the reception desk on your way out and give them your plastic ticket. Your car is being weighed again at this point and you’ll be expected to pay based on the weight of the garbage dumped. Don’t let price be a deterrent: the process is extremely cheap! You’ll likely pay 70-210 yen for the entirety of the garbage dumped.
Moral of the Story
Don’t let garbage rule your life. Even if you don’t understand the things that were left in your apartment by predecessors—a black chair leaking some kind of staining black liquid or a Supersoaker leaking neon green liquid, for instance—drop by Ecora anyway. The people are very nice and understand and will help you sort through the items you don’t know what to do with (half the time, they stand there and argue about what they should do with it). Plus, it’s cheap. And you don’t have to wait for that elusive recycling/random bits-and-bobs pickup day to roll around two months from now.
So get started on your fall cleaning; you’ve got no excuse now.
929-0318 Ishikawa-ken Kahoku-gun Tsubata-machi Aza Ryouke Nishi 71-1
Joanna Clark is a first-year ALT in Kahoku who has just recently finished purging 14 years’ worth of her predecessors’ garbage from her apartment.