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Waste Disposal in Korea

Waste Disposal

Policies regarding throwing out the trash in Korea might be more strict
than what you’re used to back home, so you should follow the rules
to make sure you’re doing things the right way in Korea.
(Fine will be charged, if you don’t follow)
Here are roughly three types of garbage.

01 Recyclable Waste

Korea is pretty specific with the kinds of trash it recycles.
You can easily see recycling symbols on containers like the examples below.

 

1) Disposal method: Recyclable waste shall be separated according to waste type such as paper, plastic and can. (refer to table below for detailed classification)
2) Disposal location: Differs according to building type, but usually recycling bins are located at the 1st floor of a building. If there is no recycling bin, dispose in a clear bag.

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3) Classification 

 

Paper 
Paper cartons(Milk carton, etc.), Newspaper, Notes,
Cup ramen containers, Boxes

 

Plastic/Vinyl 
PET bottles, Shampoo containers, Detergent containers,
Snack and ramen bags, etc.

 

Glass  
Glass bottles, etc.

Can
Iron cans, aluminum cans(Beverage cans), Insecticide containers, etc.

 

Waste that is hard to classify can be disposed in a general waste bag if the quantity is not large.

02 General Waste

1) Disposal Method: Disposal after putting into volume-rate waste bag for living waste.

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2) Disposal location: Differs according to building type, usually located at the 1st floor of a building.

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3) How to purchase waste bags
• Can be purchased at marts or convenience stores in your residential district.
• Waste bags are not usually sold on stands; asking a staff will be more convenient.
• Waste bags differ according to district. Please purchase waste bags from a location in your residential district.
• Waste bag color may differ according to district.
• 10~20L bags are suitable for 1~2-person household.

CANNOT SPEAK KOREAN AT ALL? 
Show the staff at the store it and get the help!

일반 쓰레기 봉투 20L 10매 주세요.
(Please get me 20L bags for general waste.)
음식물 쓰레기 봉투 1L 10매 주세요.
(Please get me 1L bags for food waste.)

03 Food Waste

Food waste should be hygienically separated for disposal so that it can be reused as resources, such as feed or compost.

1) Disposal Method: Disposal after putting into volume-rate food waste bag.

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2) Disposal location: Differs according to building type, but usually food waste bins are located at the 1st floor of a building.

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3) How to purchase waste bags 
• Identical to purchasing general waste bags.
• 1~2L bags are suitable for 1~2-person household.

4) Precautions
• Squeeze to remove water from food waste before disposal.
• Separate from plastic bags, wooden chopsticks, toothpicks, etc. before disposal.
• Egg shells and chicken bones are general waste.

Bulky Waste

The district office has to be informed when disposing bulky waste, such as furniture or home appliances. (1,000~20,000 Won is charged depending on waste size) 

  
You may also pay the fee to the landlord and ask the landlord to take care of the disposal.

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