A young man in Tokyo has spent most of this weekend at his Meguro Ward apartment performing numerous scientific experiments in an attempt to identify which waste products belong to which garbage collection category.

“If I add sulphur dioxide to this bento box lid and get some kind of metathesis reaction it may just be a category 14 waste product,” said 28-year-old Ben Patterson.

Further oxidization reduction testing, however, revealed that the bento box lid was actually a category 31 waste product.

“Thankfully, I used up most of my Saturday confirming the exact chemical composition of each of my pieces of trash one by one.”

Patterson spent the rest of his Saturday night removing the caps and plastic wrappers off PET bottles, then rinsing the PET bottles, and then placing them in clear plastic bags for disposal.

Patterson says he usually puts aside at least two weekends a month to accurately sort out his trash.

Image: Flickr/130305-023 Chemistry


  1. “The sorted trash was then mixed at the incineration plant to be combusted more efficiently, but at least the neighborhood obaasans were happy.”

  2. One of the perks of living in Osaka (and one of the reasons I’m afraid in case l had to move out of the city) is that l don’t have to deal with this shit.


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