Guidelines for foreigners living in Seoul - "Garbage Disposal"
Seoul Global Center which is a designated organization of Seoul City for foreigners is committed to conveying useful information for a more convenient life in Seoul via our monthly newsletter. As a matter of priority, the center will discuss "Garbage Disposal Procedures" which are generally considered to be relatively straightforward. While living in Seoul, we come across situations where we need to dispose of garbage. Do you know how to dispose of garbage conveniently?
Sorted garbage collection is designed to levy a graded charge for the amount of waste disposed of. The system facilitates the disposal of recyclable waste and the reduction of general waste by using standardized plastic garbage bags
- General Waste: For general waste (opaque white plastic bags)
- Food Waste Only: Domestic and commercial food waste (opaque yellow plastic bags)
- Recycling: Dispose of in ordinary plastic bags
What are the different types of garbage and methods of disposal?
General Waste : Any waste except food waste, recyclable waste, or over-sized waste such as furniture.
Buy opaque white plastic bags for general waste at any supermarket
(available in different sizes but the cost for a 10 litre bag is approx 214 KRW)
Food Waste : Includes vegetable peelings (except onion skins, orange peel, eggshells, and bones etc.,
leftovers, and spoiled or expired food etc.
Buy opaque yellow plastic bags for food waste (available in different sizes but the cost of 10 litres is
approx 132 KRW)
Recycling : Separate waste for recycling by type
|Items||Recyclable Items||Non-recyclable Items|
|Paper||Newspapers, books, notes, wrapping paper, corrugated cardboard, paper bags, paper boxes, items indicated as ‘종이’ or ‘종이팩’||Plastic coated paper bags, plastic coated paper cups|
|Glass||Beer bottles, liquor bottles, soda bottles, items indicated as ‘유리’||Sheet glass, mirrors, heatproof tableware, milk-white bottles, cosmetic bottles, ceramic wares|
|Metal||Beverage cans, spray cans, butane gas containers, aluminum, stainless utensils, steel tools, iron wire, items indicated as ‘철’ or ‘ 철사’||Paint containers, oil containers, or containers containing toxic materials|
|Styrofoam||Safety packages for household electrical appliances, etc., delivery containers for fresh fish or fruit, clean instant noodle containers||Disposable dishes|
|Plastic||Items indicated as ‘PET’, ‘HIPE’, ‘LDPE’, ‘PP’, ‘PS’, ‘PVC’, or ‘OTHER’||Writing implements, buttons, sockets, toys, baby-walkers, telephones, disposable cameras, electric heaters|
|Milk cartons||Milk cartons||-|
|Fluorescent Lamps||Unbroken fluorescent lamps or bulbs||Broken fluorescent lamps or bulbs|
|Plastic Bags||Plastic Bags (white, black, etc.)||Instant noodle packages, contaminated plastic bags|
|* Batteries||Dispose of batteries at the designated area indicated such as subway station buildings, local community centers, and schools.|
Over-sized Waste : Waste that cannot fit into standard waste bags. Ex) furniture, electric home
appliances, bedding, office machines, air-conditioners, etc.
Cost : 1,000원~15,000 KRW (depending on size and weight)
Method 1 By visiting Dong office in person.
- Visit your local dong office and pay the appropriate fee → Receive a disposal sticker → Affix the sticker and
- dispose of the waste → Collection by city workers
Method 2 By Internet (on the homepage of your Gu office).
- Fill in the application → Payment → Print and attach the sticker and dispose of the waste →
- Collection by city workers
Method 3 By arranging for free pick-up.
- Free collection service can be booked either by phone (1599-0903) or online (http://www.15990903.or.kr/)
When and where can I dispose of my rubbish?
- Period : rom dusk to midnight, the designated day differs per district, please enquire in your Gu- office.
- Place : By the front door of a private residence or in the dumpsters of an apartment complex.
What if I do not follow the rules of garbage disposal?
- Penalties ranging from 100,000 to 1,000,000won (depending on the local district) will be levied against fly
- tippers. If food waste is not separated from general waste, the penalties for illegal disposal will grow
- progressively higher on each subsequent occasion. (Penalty rates vary from district to district.)
Is there anywhere to donate nearly-new goods?
List of Recycling Centers and Flea Markets
- Foreigners’ Flea Market · A flea market held for foreign sellers · Location : Gwanghwamun / Seoul Global
- Center as a sponsor http://global.seoul.go.kr [K, E, J, C, F] Tel: 02-2075-4180
- Ttukseom Beautiful Flea Market · A space for practicing reusing and sharing by the direct participation of
- citizens · A sharing marketplace that donates more than 20% of the sales amount ·Ttukseom Resort Station
- Square ≫ Line 7, Ttukseom Resort Station, Exit 2 or 38www.flea1004.com [K, E] Tell: 02-732-999
- Beautiful Store · Takes donations of new and used goods. Collects used articles for repair to resell at
- low prices. http://www.beautifulstore.org [K, E] Tell: 02-3676-1009, 1577-1113
- 아름다운 가게 : www.beautifulstore.org
- The Salvation Army Thrift Store: Sells goods donated by individuals or companies at low prices.
- http://www.nanumistore.org [K, E] Tel: 02-365-7084, 1588-1327 (Inquiries for donation/sponsoring)
- Seoul Folk Flea Market : A place where you can come across Korean items at low prices, such as appliances
- and home wares, tourist gifts, local products, ethnic food, etc. The harmony of the streets, traditional scenery
- and customs as well as the Cheonggyecheon Stream attract of not only citizens but also tourists from both
- home and abroad. Transportation: 100M from exit 9 of Sinseol-dong Station http://pungmul.seoul.go.kr
- [K, E, C, J] Tel: 02-2238-2600.
- Itaewon Second-hand Furniture Street : Used furniture formerly owned by foreigners can be purchased at
- low prices. Located between Exits 3 and 4 of Itaewon Station, Line 6.
- Recycling centers : Recycle City www.rety.co.kr / Tel: 1588-8425
- Junggonara www.junggo.com
Q. How should I dispose of fluorescent lamps and batteries?
In order to prevent environmental pollution by heavy metals, we need your active cooperation in not discharging fluorescent lamps or batteries. They are toxic wastes of daily life. Every dong office has a separate bin for them, and the places that have large collections have separate bins for them, too. You can obtain information about the locations of separate bins for fluorescent lamps and batteries by ontacting the local dong office.
Q. I have a broken glass from my desk. How should I dispose of it?
If the amount is not so much, you can put it in a plastic bag for general waste. However, because it a dangerous substance, you have to wrap it thick enough with newspapers or the like before putting it in the bag. If there is a large amount, you have to purchase a special bag at a selling place, and break the glass down to small pieces to dispose of it.
Q. I properly disposed of my garbage recently as I always do, but have been fined. I think
Q. someone went through the trouble of opening the bag and going through the contents.
Q. I feel like I’ve been unfairly fined for the actions of a garbage picker. Can I make a complaint
Q. to someone?
There have been reported cases of individuals who go through other’s garbage or stray cats going through the contents of the garbage bags looking for food. In your case, you will have to file a complaint at the local district office by filling out an application form and submitting evidence.
Q. My kid’s clothes do not fit him anymore but are in very good condition.
Q. How I can donate these clothes?
To Use a collecting bin for old clothes. If you live in a detached house, you can use a collecting bin for old clothes, standing at the alley. If you live in an apartment building, you can use a collecting bin for old clothes, standing by the other bins for separating waste. In the case of the bins for old clothes, they are established by an organization of the handicapped, and are not controlled by a district office.
To donate to a local welfare center
- If you want to donate to an organization for children, please contact the social welfare department of the
- ward (gu) office because it has a welfare center for children under its control.
To use an organization for donation
- Please check with a Beautiful Store near you at www.beautifulstore.org