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So this morning I took the trash out on my way to the gym.  Towel on shoulder I headed into our immaculately-could-eat-off-it-its-so-clean trash room with 3 trash bags, a water bottle and our house key in hand.

My bags aren't quite this cute

It’s important to note here that they take domestic recycling very seriously here in Japan.  To make a long story short we have to separate our plastic bottles, cans, plastic items and paper items – it’s annoying yes, but we live on an island.

Anyway – so there I was, in the trash room having tossed my empty water bottles into the plastic bottle bin, the plastics in the plastics bin and then the combustibles in the combustibles bin.  As soon as I dropped the last bag in I realized I had put the can bag in the combustible bin (Oh no, say it wasn’t so!).

Another important point to note here is that our bins are ALWAYS EMPTY.  Seriously I feel as though we are the only ones who create trash of any kind as any day of the week you can take a bag in and your bag will be the first one to go into the very large 4.5 foot tall trashcan.  This means my bag of cans was at the very bottom of this tall bin and there I was having to stand on my tip toes and lean over the edge of this bin to get the can bag.

As I leant in I realized this may not have been very well thought out as the trash bin is on wheels.  Yes, there I was with half of me in the bin and it starts rolling back, fortunately catching against the other bin and allowing me just the right amount of access to grab the top edge of my can bag and fish it out.  Feeling victorious I stood up a bit quick, forgetting my gym towel was on my shoulder.  It promptly fell back into the bin.

I admit I did consider just leaving it there, it was a combustible after all but it was also brand new and well – unsullied still despite being in a trash bin (seriously these are insanely clean bins).  Now I had a real problem, the towel of course lays much flatter than my can bag which I barely reached.  And truly there was no good way to tip the bin over and not enough room to do so in the tiny room anyway.  There was nothing else to do but wedge the bin in the corner, stand on tippy tip toes and lean in.  Feet off the floor I realised perhaps having my phone and my key in a precarious position was not a good place while diving, after putting them aside and swinging myself head first back in I was finally able to grab my towel and go.  And that folks, is how you dumpster dive in Japan.

My bins are seriously cleaner than this, but that's quite a lot like what I looked like

Classy, no?