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World’s Best Trash Pickers Compete in Shibuya

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Participants sort out trash during the Spogomi World Cup 2023 in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on Wednesday.

Want to join a sport where talking trash is the name of the game? That’s what Spogomi is all about, a competition that gets its name from “sports” and “gomi,” the Japanese word for “trash.”

The Spogomi World Cup 2023 was held Wednesday in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, to determine the world’s best litter pickers. The fiercely fought competition involved 63 participants from 21 countries.

The competition originated in Japan with teams of three trying to pick up as much trash as possible within the 90-minute limit, getting points for the type and weight of the items collected.

Starting from Shibuya Station, teams walked around during the time limit and together collected a total of about 550 kilograms of trash, including bottles, cans and umbrellas.

The winning team represented the United Kingdom, with Japan finishing second.