Residential Waste Disposal

We have a "Volume rate Garbage Disposal System" here in Korea, which is to bear the expense of waste treatment as much as the trash each takes out. It aims to reduce wastes by charging people to pay as the throw and to lead them to separate and send out the recyclable wastes. To dump the trash, you should use a standard plastic garbage bags which you can buy at the near Supermarket.

General Waste

  • ‌If you dispose of garbage using the standard plastic garbage bags in a designated place, the waste disposal team will collect them during the appointed time.
  • ‌Since the standard plastic garbage bags vary according to the districts, you need to check before buying them.
  • ‌Only in the case that you move out to another area, you may use the rest of the garbage bags in your possession.

Food Waste

  • ‌As the food waste will be used for the animal feed or compost after the recycling, you should drain the water and remove the harmful substances before throwing them out.
  • ‌‌To throw the food wastes, you should put them in the standard plastic garbage bags or buy a sticker or a payment bill to throw it at the designated place.
  • ‌‌The container might be damaged if it is outside so that you need to bring it to the inside to avoid the repurchase. Otherwise, you may have to buy one again. ※ In case of the apartments or multi-unit dwelling, the food waste container is already arranged.
How to separate food waste
  • Rinse high sodium foods such as soybean paste, red pepper paste, soy sauce and kimchi etc. before disposing them.
  • Tooth picks, disposable chopsticks, plastic, bottlecaps, shells, etc. should be removed.
  • Substances other than food waste should be discharged in to the standard plastic garbage bag.
Waste that must be separated from food waste

The following should always be disposed as general waste.


Type, Waste that must not be included in food waste 로 구성된 표

Type Waste that must not be included in food waste
Vegetables Skins of onions, corns and corn and pepper stalk.
Fruits Hard skins of walnuts, chestnuts, acorns and more.
Seeds of peaches, apricots and persimmons and more.
Meats Bones and feathers of cow, pig, chicken and etc.
Shellfish Hard skins of shells, conches, abalones, ascidian, oysters, crabs and lobsters.
Dregs Disposable tea bag, dregs of medicine.

Recycling Waste

  • ‌You are contribute to environmental protection if you recycle and reuse the waste.
  • ‌In Korea, currently it is compulsory to collect separately and recycle specific items
Recycling waste by items

Type, Recyclable, Non-recyclable 로 구성된 표

Type Recyclable Non-recyclable
Paper items Newspaper, book, notebook, wrapping paper, corru
-gated paper, paper bag, paper box, paper, paper
Vinyl-coated paper bag, polluted paper cup
Glasses Beer bottles, wine bottles, soda bottles, wastemarked glass Glass, mirrors, heat-treated dishes, milky
white(milk color) bottles, cosmetic
containers, chinaware
Iron scraps Beverage cans, spray cans, butane gas can, aluminu
-m, stainless steel utensils, tools, wire, iron or waste marked wire
paint tins, oil cans, harmful objects,
packaging containers
Styrofoam Protective packaging article for appliances, contain
-ers for fish or fruit, washed cup noodle containers
Disposable plates
Plastic PET, HIPE, LDPE, PP, PS, PVC, OTHER marked Pens, buttons, sockets, toys, baby walkers,
phones, disposable cameras, electric stove
Milk cartons Milk cartons -
Unbreakable fluorescent lamp, electric bulb Broken fluorescent lamp, electric bulb
Plastic bags Plastic bags (white, black, etc.), noodle bags Contaminated plastic bags
- Apartments, subway station, Dong
community center, school etc.

Small Waste Items

  • ‌Waste of mobile phones or waste of small appliances can be disposed without any additional fees. (Waste treatment may differ for each gu office. Please check the website for details.)
  • ‌The waste of small appliances has only to be disposed with other recycle waste on collection day and the waste of cell phone has only to put into green box installed in a Dong Community Service Center. You may inquire the sales agency for more information.

Bulky Waste Items

  • ‌‌Bulky waste items (example: furniture, appliances) that cannot fit in a garbage bag. You have to report it to the district office.
How to dispose of bulky waste items
  1. Request for Waste Collection

    Buy an adhesive label at the relevant district office or a designated store that carries large-size waste labels (outlet, apartment administration office, etc.) and take out the waste on the desired date with the label on it.

    • ‌‌Since stores that carry waste labels may differ depending on the county or district, be sure to check the website and the department responsible for cleaning in advance.
    • ‌‌Information (Cleaning services) at Each Gun/Gu Administrative Districts
    bulky waste items

    District,Telephone 로 구성된 표

    District Telephone No. District Telephone No.
    Gyeyang-gu 032-450-5463 Seo-gu 032-560-4553
    Michuhol-gu 032-880-4362 Yeonsu-gu 032-749-7856
    Dong-gu 032-770-6412 Jung-gu 032-760-7412
    Namdong-gu 032-453-2563 Ganghwa-gun 032-930-3338
    Bupyeong-gu 032-509-6612 Ongjin-gun 032-899-2624
  2. Request via the Internet
    • Find 'the area of cleaning/environment/hygiene' at the website of the competent district or county, and then click 'large waste discharge.'
    • Pay the fee and have an label for large-size waste affixed to the item.
Recycling center's free waste collection services for large household appliances

In Incheon, the recycling centers operated by the private sector are operated in each gu.
The recycling center is a place to display and to sell the appliance and furniture.
When throwing away large appliances, a member of the recycling center staff will visit and collect the large appliance with free of charge if you call the recycling center.
(You can get contact and website information of related recycling centers if you search the keyword 'Incheon recycling center' in the portal site

Source: "Be an Incheoner" - Guidebook for Foreign Residents in Incheon