Garbage Disposal

Korea uses a system called jongnyangje for the effective collection of garbage waste and recyclable material. All the garbage you produce must be disposed of properly, or you may be fined otherwise. Garbage must be separated according to whether it is "common garbage" (ilban sseuregi), food waste (eumsikmul sseuregi), recyclable (jaehwal yongpum), or large waste objects (daehyeong pyegimul). Ask your neighbors, your city, neighborhood government authorities, or the management office in your apartment complex about disposal days and the proper methods for disposal.

Purchasing Garbage Bags

In cities, regulation garbage bags may be purchased at supermarkets or convenience stores in your neighborhood. In rural areas they may be purchased at the local government offices or through the local women's association (bunyeohoe). There are generally six or seven sizes; 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 liters. Prices vary according to size.

Disposal Procedures

1) Common Garbage
Common Garbage photo

Use regulation bags and place outside. Ask the building owner or a neighbor where to place them if you are unsure. If you don't use regulation bags, your garbage will not be collected.

2) Food Waste

Remove all moisture and anything that cannot be eaten by livestock, then use a regulation bag for disposal. In areas where there are collection boxes dedicated for food waste disposal, you do not need to use regulation bags. Food waste produced by families and restaurants have high moisture levels, making incineration difficult, and it still secretes harmful substances after arriving at the landfill, which in turn pollutes water resources.

3) Recyclable Items

Materials that are recyclable such as plastic, cans, bottles, and paper should be put in a clear plastic bag or even in a sandbag-like bag and put in the appropriate spot on collection day. Spray cans, cooking-gas cans, and other such things can explode, so put a hole in these to make sure they are completely empty.

4) Large Waste Objects

Televisions, washing machines, and other home electronics and large items [of garbage] that cannot be placed in bags should be placed in the collection spot after attaching a sticker purchased at your local dong Community Service Center or where you purchase your regulation bags.

Disposing of Recyclable Materials
Type Item Recyclable Non-recyclable
Paper Newspaper - Dispose of stacked flat and tied together.
- Plastic-coated advertisements, other non-paper materials must not be mixed.
- Plastic-coated advertisement
- Wet newspaper
shopping bags
- Remove plastic coating, springs,>- Plastic wrappings do not qualify. - Book springs
- Plastic coatings, fax paper
Paper cups,
milk cartons
- Empty contents, rinse with water,then flatten and put in bag or tie together.
Packing boxes,
- Remove tape, staples, or other such material,then flatten to make for easy transportation. - Candy wrappers
- plastic, tape
Metal Steel and
Steel and aluminum
- Empty, rinse, and flatten as possible.
Butane gas
insect killing
- Puncture to empty and remove danger of explosion
Old metal,
nonferrous metals
- Place in bag or tie together to assure no mixture with foreign materials
Paper Beverage
bottles, etc.
- Remove cap, empty, rinse with water.
※ Beer and soju can be sold back to your market.
- Bottles containing cosmetics.
Plastics PET bottles - Remove cap, empty, rinse with water. - Waste oils.
Synthetic resin
- Attempt to flatten to minimize size.
Styrofoam Packaging
material for
home electronics
- Remove other material, stickers,and place in bag or tie together.lunches, fruit containers, etc. - Smooth surface styrofoam, ex.
used for ramen bowls, take-out
Fruit packaging
- Styrofoam from fish and fruit boxes should be disposed of after clean of other substances. - styrofoam for construction use etc.
Clothing Outer garment - Dispose of neatly in plastic bag after washing, be sure to keep from becoming wet. - cashmere, bedding