Questions & Answers

Government Regs

Why aren't garbage bags put in trash cans before they are put out on the street?

There is no clear cut or simple answer to this question. There have been many complaints about garbage bags piled in front of apartment buildings, in the middle of commercial blocks, outside stores, near bus stops, in the middle of parking lots, on open spaces and along streets. How well the trash question is handled depends largely on the local governments (Yongsan-gu, Gangnam-gu, Seocho-gu, etc).

Up until recently, garbage was collected in large bins placed in specific areas in each ward. That didn't work out so well as people were not always willing to make the 'journey' to the bin and also because all kinds of unauthorised objects (furniture, electronics, etc) would be thrown in as well.

To limit the amount of garbage, to control collection and to promote recycling, local governments designated specific types of garbage bags, which can be purchased at local stores. Despite regulations that specifiy that garbage is to put out within certain hours, most individuals and businesses do so based on their own convenience. As long as the local government is not enforcing the rules, that will not change. Moreover, one of the reasons people put their trash bags out in more central areas makes it difficult to identify culprits.

As for the use of trash cans the explanations may lie, in part, wiith the payment formula for garbage pick up. It appears that only legitimate bags count toward the remuneration. Obviously one can't tell what kind of bags are contained in trash cans, so bags are put out as they are and among other downsides, become dinner invitations for rats, cats, etc.

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