Pop-up Bar Located In A Rubbish Dump Is Designed To Make Drinkers Think About Sustainability

An unusual pop-up bar is pulling the crowds in Tokyo. Gomi (meaning trash) Pit is located at a local waste facility and incinerator.

The pop-up bar is the initiative of local officials who are trying to promote their state-of-the-art facility and prod local residents to think about the waste they produce. It makes for a striking juxtaposition: on the upper floor of the facility in Musashino in western Tokyo, several dozen people sit at tables eating nibbles and sipping cocktails.

The glass windows in front of them look directly onto a deep pit where tons of garbage is piled for incineration. Every few minutes, an enormous crane descends to the bottom of the pit, then raises up gripping the detritus of daily life: half an Ikea bag, a tie, pieces of cushion foam, torn paper, and plastic bags of every description.

The claw opens to release and mix the trash – key to ensure the various components burn evenly in the incinerator – and the pieces dance down through the air, like the most unpleasant snow imaginable. Take a look at this video.

A local resident, Tomioka said he had come to see the facility with his children because he worries about the impact of waste on their generation.

“There is some garbage which cannot be burned at all, that garbage must be piled up somewhere, which means that for them it’s a kind of negative legacy from our generation,” he said.

Gomi Pit is only temporary but the Musashino Clean Centre facility is open to visitors year-round, and was designed to encourage people to come in and look around, Seki said. When they began planning the centre, which opened in 2017, they wanted to overcome potential local opposition by creating a place that would be seen as positive.

The facility didn’t come cheap: 10 billion yen (US$91 million) to build and another 10 billion to operate over the next 20 years. But local resident Yukiko Ota, sipping a lurid blue concoction from a miniature glass, said the visit had made her think.

“This place is really neat and doesn’t smell at all,” the 49-year-old housewife said.

She said she had been surprised to learn that items that can’t be burned are landfilled elsewhere in the country.

“We are imposing the burden on some other town,” she said. “We should try to reduce the amount of waste we produce.”