In Japan, it is almost certain that you will need to separate your rubbish into different categories, and dispose of them separately.
Each city and district has it's own rules, schedules and bags for disposing of rubbish.

Main points:
  • You will need to separate your rubbish into different categories.
  • You cannot let food waste go down the drain, you can either have a net in the drain, or a netted container in your sink for draining liquid from waste food.
  • You will have special bags for your area, which you should write your name and address on.
  • Area dependent: rules about what items fall into which category, bags to use, where your rubbish is collected from and the schedule for collection.
  • Bigger items, broken items and broken glass are collected separately from the regular rubbish schedule and much less often.

Categories of rubbish

Burnable - 燃えるゴミ 「もえるゴミ」"moerugomi"
Basically, can you make a good fire out of this stuff? Will it burn?
E.g. packaging, napkins, food waste, nappies/diapers, garden waste, plastic bags...

Non-burnable - 燃えないゴミ 「もえないゴミ」"moenaigomi"
High chances are, these are things you wouldn't really burn. Not without a mask anyways.
E.g. Hard plastics, styrofoam packaging, and including most of the categories below.

Cans - カン
If you dispose of spray cans (like, aerosols, spray paint, insect sprays) you will need to puncture the can.
E.g. drinks cans, food cans, and spray cans.

PET bottles - ペット ボトル
Caps should be removed and disposed of separately. Labels should be thrown away with burnable/non-burnable rubbish. Should also be rinsed before disposing.
Sometimes collected in bags, other times in small crates.
E.g. drinks bottles, condiment bottles.

Glass - グラス
Should be rinsed and caps removed.
E.g. drinks bottles, condiment bottles.

Collected less often, and need to be tied together to make a pack.

Broken items
Collected less often.
E.g. broken glass, light bulbs, kitchenware.

Big items
Collected less often.
E.g. futons, furniture, bicycles.

Big electronics
You will need to call someone, and pay a fee for disposal.
E.g. refrigerators, washing machines, driers, TVs, airconditioners.

Public rubbish bins/trash cans
Most supermarkets, convenience stores and train stations will have rubbish bins. They are usually seperated into bottles, cans, papers and 'other'.
Note, the bins in stations are normally on the platforms.