Friday, February 23, 2018

How to throw away trash like a pro in Korea: Hazardous and Oversized Waste

Living in Korea 101

How to throw away trash like a pro in Korea: what to separate

Koreans are particular about disposing wastes. We try to go green as much as possible by putting our efforts and time to separate garbage and also recycle. Residents don’t mix general garbage with recyclables. Food waste should be thrown away in food waste can, too. If you’ve got this right, you are well set in living in Korea! Nonetheless, we always aim for perfection when it comes to protecting the environment. Here are our final tips to throw away trash like a pro in Korea!


Dead Batteries
Items: alkaline batteries, mercury cell, nicd battery and other batteries that contain steel, zinc, silver or nickel.

Household batteries should be separated to prevent potentially hazardous stuff or/and reuse useful metals. An apartment building usually has dead battery bins at entrances or in the recycling area. If it doesn’t, you can collect and hand them to a district office(동사무소 dong samuso)  

■ Where to dump?
In a dead battery bin at apartment or district office.

Fluorescent lamps
Items: unbroken light bulbs

Intact fluorescent lamps should also be thrown away at a separate recycling bin at an apartment or district office. Broken ones should be dumped with general garbage. 

■ Where to dump?
In a dead battery bin at apartment or district office.
A little tip
All district office accept batteries, fluorescent lamps and milk packs (paper) in exchange to new batteries or toilet paper. You can simply bring the disposal to an officer. Depending on an office, there are recycling areas outside a building. You can toss recyclables here as well. The only difference is that no compensation is made

Fluorescent collector outside a district office(동사무소, dong samuso)

20 dead batteries 2 new batteries
10 fluorescent lamps 2 new batteries
1kg of milk packs 2 rolls of toilet paper
*The number of compensation can vary depending on a district office

Oversized Waste
Any disposal that does not fit in the general garbage bag should be collected by an agent. Otherwise, fine can be issued.

Items: refrigerators, TVs, air conditioners, washing machine, microwaves, etc

People used to get charged to dump an oversized electronic. However, for recent years, electronic companies pay this charge to run their business more eco-friendly. Collecting electronics separately helps reduce an amount of green house gas by 80,000 tons.

■ How to dump?
Request collecting an item on the website or through kakaotalk.
─Contact: 1599-0903
─Online: (Korean only)
─Kakaotalk: search and add “weec” or “폐가전무산방문수거
*Copy and paste these for kakaotalk conversation.
Hello, please collect a refrigerator. 안녕하세요, 냉장고 수거 부탁 드립니다.
My address is 88, Gongpyeong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu. 주소는 대구 중구 공평로 88 입니다.
I’ll leave the item outside my house by the door. 현관 놔둘게요.
I’ll leave the item at the recycling area. 아파트 재활용분리수거장에 놔둘게요.

─Items should be removed from the original and ready to be collected.
─Small electronics(smartphone, camera, blender, light stand, hair dryer, etc) should be recycled at a recycling area at your apartment or put them in a transparent plastic bag and leave with other recyclable on a designated day.

Furniture and damaged electronics
Items: bed mattresses, sofas, desks, coffee tables, etc

Furniture waste is another useful resource that can be used to generate energy, feed animals, etc. Unprocessed wood can even be utilized to make plywood. Therefore, it is important for the city to collect these wastes. Unlike electronics, there is a fee. Damaged electronics are considered a regular oversized disposal, which causes a fee as well.

■ How to dump?
The way is different depending on a district.
Buy “sticker” at a local supermarket → Attach the sticker to disposal → Call an agency → An agent collects it
Agency Contacts
─Jung-gu 053-661-3333
─Dong-gu 053-985-3830, 053-985-3840
─Seo-gu 053-555-2459
─Buk-gu 053-951-0357

Call an agency → An agent collects it →  Pay the agent
Agency Contacts
─Nam-gu 053-626-2116
─Dalseo-gu 053-667-8787
─Dalseong-gun 053-592-4747

■ Price
Approximately 1,000won for a chair, 5,000won for a desk, 10,000won for a closet.

1 comment:

  1. This is so useful! I'll pass it on to my fellow foreigners!