National Geographic : 2008 May
that follows such rules without exception. The homeowner sorts items into eight distinct categories prior to collection. Since the day and frequency of collection is specific for each category, residents keep a color-coded calendar in the kitchen. There is a ninth cate gory for large items such as bicycles, televisions, etc. In Odawara these are collected from home upon payment of a special fee. In some other areas there are locations where large items can be deposited. While the Japanese are averse to secondhand items, the resultant mini-mountains of consumer products always attract foreigners in search of bargains. ROBERT J. NASH Webster, New York It would be nice to build here at home more "Davids" [recyling machines] and help stem the outgoing flow of electronic debris. But then I look at the photograph of 11-year-old Salman Aziz on page 81 and wonder, when his supply of old computer mice disappears, where he will go for his next bit of small change and what he will do for his next meal. BILL STELTZER West Grove, Pennsylvania Throughout the entire year cardboard seems to be the highest volume material in my household waste stream. Recycling is good, but not everyone participates, and the landfills are filling up. When will one of the big retailers force their suppliers to develop a system of reusable containers that customers can use to bring their household goods home, and then return to the store or other collection point for a deposit? Far less packing material would be used, buried, wasted, and a cottage industry would spring up to guarantee that containers were returned and deposits collected. BRIAN SMITH Mount Airy, Maryland Corrections, Clarifications January 2008: Ice Warriors The correct elevation of Annapurna is 26,502 feet.