Have you done the classification of garbage correctly?

Foreigners living in South Korea should know that aside from having recyclable garbage and large garbage, there should also be other garbage bags divided into general garbage and food garbage. Ziptoss has made a useful list of tips to remember when sorting waste in South Korea.

Food waste sorting

Many people think that leftover food or garbage that is part of the food can be put into the food garbage bag. However, food waste refers to waste that can be used as animal feed. There are a lot of things that seem to be ”food waste”, not food waste but general waste such as:

  • Chestnut shells, walnut shells, peanut shells, and other nutshells.
  • Shells of seafood such as crabs, conch, and oysters.
  • Animal bones such as cattle bones, pig bones, chicken bones, fish bones, etc.
  • The cores of peaches, persimmons, and other fruits.
  • Onion skin, bean skin, garlic skin, corn skin, pineapple skin, and other high-fiber plant skins.
  • Fatty meat, offal, etc. that contain a lot of saturated fat, as well as poultry hair, pufferfish offal(toxic) Chaff, tea remnants, and Chinese medicine remnants.
  • Eggshells of eggs, quail eggs, and duck eggs.
  • Leftover corn on the cob.

The ones listed above are general trash. Although onion skins and other plant skins are general garbage, soft skins such as apples, bananas, melons, and oranges are considered to be food garbage and need to be put in food waste bags for disposal.

Takeaways, express delivery bags, and toiletries

Take-out boxes, express cartons, used cosmetics, flat plastic, and glass jars for washing are recyclable. However, it is not recyclable if it is stained with residual other items. For example, takeaway boxes stained with food are non-recyclable garbage.

So, how should this be handled? After disposing of the food leftovers, clean the take-out boxes and put them in the recyclable trash. For home condiments such as chili sauce, soy sauce, etc., as well as used ramen boxes, empty the remaining contents, wash, and wipe or dry the moisture out before discarding.

As for mineral water bottles, these need to be discarded after removing the contents and labels; After removing the tape and label of the courier box, compress it to the smallest volume before discarding it. This can be done with cosmetics, shampoo, and laundry detergent containers. Empty the contents, and then discard them after washing.

General garbage that can easily be misunderstood as recyclable garbage

Some garbage may seem to be recyclable, but it is more difficult to recycle, so it belongs to the general garbage bag. These items include:

  • Plastic foam net from packaged fruits.
  • Broken glass bottles, glass bulbs (you need to wrap them in newspapers and throw them into general trash bags).
  • Ceramics, ceramic dishes (should be sorted and discarded with the general garbage).
  • Insulation/cold packaging bags.
  • Stationery, toothbrushes, rubber gloves, slippers.
  • DVDs/CDs.
  • Plastic bags containing food residues, dust from apartment duct cleaning and foreign objects, labels, etc.

This is a guide by Ziptoss for people who are new to the segregation process of South Korea to help them avoid paying fines when disposing of their garbage and to maintain cleanliness in their homes when clearing their garbage. Ziptoss can help future tenants in terms of garbage disposal by giving advice to you as you move into your new home. The apartment guard can also guide you while you’re there.