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A short guide to trash disposal in South Korea

One of the most common questions we get is how to recycle and dispose trash properly in our Sharehouses, or in South Korea in general.


Doing it wrong can lead to fines by the district authorities, so every foreigner coming to South Korea should be aware of a few, simple instructions for trash management.


Here is a short guide on how to dispose your trash:

  1. Separate your waste: Before disposing of your trash, it is important to separate it into different categories. In Korea, waste is divided into four categories: food waste, recyclables, general waste, and hazardous waste. Each category has its own designated container, and it is essential to separate your waste correctly.

  2. Purchase garbage bags: You will need to purchase designated garbage bags for each type of waste. These bags are available at most convenience stores, supermarkets, and local government offices.

  3. Food waste: Food waste is usually collected separately from other types of waste. It is placed in designated bins or bags and picked up by the local government. Food waste should never be placed in other waste bins or bags. The Food Waste Bags are yellow and can be purchased at your nearest convenience store. They come in different sizes depending on your needs!

  4. Recyclables: Recyclable waste includes paper, plastic, glass, and metal. It should be sorted and placed in designated recycling bins or bags. In some areas, there are specific days or times for recycling pick-ups, so it is best to check with your local government or apartment complex for details. Basic Recycle Bags can be purchased at supermarkets or at Daiso!

  5. General waste: General waste includes items that cannot be recycled or composted, such as plastic wrappers, diapers, and sanitary products. It should be placed in designated general waste bins or bags. The general waste bags are white and can be purchased at your nearest convenience store. They come in different sizes depending on your needs!


South Korean General and Food Waste Bags
General Trash Bags (L) and Food Waste Bags (R)

  1. Hazardous waste: Hazardous waste includes items such as batteries, electronic devices, and chemicals. It should be taken to designated hazardous waste collection centers, which are typically located in local government offices or community centers.

  2. Disposal time: Waste should be disposed of at designated times and locations. In most residential areas, waste is collected on specific days of the week, and waste bins or bags should be placed outside at the designated time. Usually you can bring out your trash on the designated days between 6-11PM!

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