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  • Lothar
  • Waygookin

    • 11

    • September 05, 2011, 10:42:55 am
    • Cheonghak-ri, South Korea
Recycling in Korea
« on: September 05, 2011, 10:49:26 am »
I just got here a few days ago, and though the garbage and recycling situation was mostly explained to me, I was wondering if things like pizza boxes are considered to be recyclable, or if it is like back in the USA where cardboard with grease or other food stains is not recyclable?


Re: Recycling in Korea
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 11:00:21 am »
put your pizza boxes where you leave your trash. There are always people coming by to get boxes and other things to recycle. They collect them and take them to sell. It is usually old people with carts picking them up.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 11:07:40 am by techteacher »


  • eringale
  • Newgookin

    • 4

    • September 06, 2011, 12:01:11 pm
    • Gwangju
Re: Recycling in Korea
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2011, 02:12:24 pm »
I understand that if the recyclable waste is contaminated by food then you should just put it out with the normal garbage. Some more info below.


Disposal Procedures

1) General Garbage
Use regulation bags and place them outside. Ask your building owner or a neighbor about where to put them. If you do not 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.

3) Recyclable Items
Recyclable materials such as plastic, cans, bottles, and paper should be put in a clear plastic bag or even a sandbag-like bag and put in the appropriate spot on collection day. Spray cans, cooking-gas cans, and other potentially flammable items should be punctured to ensure they are completely empty.

4) 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.





  • Kev20
  • Veteran

    • 173

    • August 24, 2011, 08:59:11 pm
    • Gumi-si
Re: Recycling in Korea
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2011, 12:25:08 pm »
I'm still unsure about the garbage situation. I've asked for garbage bags and recycling bags and in turn been offered yellow and green bags. I've bought them but I still don't think either is for recycling. I think yellow is for food, maybe green is for recycling but having casually looked at filled green bags around my neighbourhood I don't think so. I've seen big clear bags with bottles and stuff but wasn't offered anything like that at the supermarket.


  • Gansie
  • Veteran

    • 119

    • September 21, 2011, 08:01:42 am
    • Incheon, South Korea
Re: Recycling in Korea
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2011, 03:43:11 pm »
I'm also unsure about the whole thing. My building has four bins for four different plastics, three bins for cardboard etc. It is very onfusing and the caretaker is a seriously scary man! What is the white plastic recycling bag for? That seems to be the only one you can buy here in Incheon?


Re: Recycling in Korea
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 06:57:55 pm »
Are the garbage and recycling rules national, or do they vary from area to area? It seems like the small pink bags are for organic waste in my city. I have no idea about the difference between the green and white ones other than size. I have heard that you can put unsorted recyclables in any type of container (bag or cardboard box) since scavengers will come around to sort and collect everything for money. So far I've been putting everything together until I figure out the system. It seems needlessly complicated. :/


  • Mani
  • Waygookin

    • 24

    • August 17, 2011, 01:47:44 pm
    • PyeongTaek
Re: Recycling in Korea
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 07:17:20 pm »
Food and trash I just fling out together in the regulation bag (available at all major retailers) I'm not one for sorting through my own garbage.

Well that's the idea. You don't sort through the garbage. You sort it BEFORE it becomes garbage.
Personally I use a few bins at home and sort everything right away. Come Sunday (for the recycling) I just bring all the bags down and it only takes a minute.

The only thing I did not figure out is whether meat is acceptable for the animals of is it's veggies only. I put everything organic in. Hopefully it's ok.

I haven't researched what to do with batteries either. An old lady told me to bring them someplace (post office?) but I am not sure if I even understood what she said. So if anyone knows.. :)

If anything sorting trash IS SIGN of a civilized society. I love it and it makes me feel good about myself (well until my next flight at least ;) ).


Re: Recycling in Korea
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 10:06:38 pm »
I'm totally lost with the recycling system. Here in Ulsan we have blue bags. Pretty sure they are for normal waste. Then I think there's a different bin that you put some kind of chip or tag onto to get it collected (?!). As for recycling, who knows... I may just try leave my bottles outside in the hope someone takes it off to a yard somewhere.


Re: Recycling in Korea
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 07:16:11 am »
If a plastic item has a little triangle of three arrows pointing clockwise on it, it is recyclable.  All paper is recyclable as is all food waste except for bones, which you can throw out in your regular garbage in an official garbage bag, of course.  Larger items require a recycling sticker for which you probably have to buy at a local store which sells those stickers.  The regular official garbage bags can often be purchased at your local supermarket, not the big supermarkets like Emart or Home Plus, but the local ones like DC Mart, for example.  I buy our official garbage bags at a DC Mart.  YOu can be fined, I believe, if you do not use an "official" garbage bag.