Today I read about a Dunedin man stealing official Dunedin City Council rubbish bags and selling them on the black market. I remember these bags – they were very expensive and came in a pack of 5. You had to use the official bag or your trash wouldn’t be collected.

One of the things you need to learn when moving to a new city is the trash collection. My boss from the school told me what to do. There are recycling collection points around the city. Here is the one closest to my apartment:

The Korean reads: “Discharge time: weekdays 8pm-4am, weekends, Sunday 8pm later discharge”.

Near the nets is a large pile of trash:


You simply leave your trash, in the official bag (see below) at the pile, presumably during the “discharge time” mentioned on the nets.

Official rubbish bag of Pyeongtaek

I asked my boss where you get the official rubbish bags from, and she said you can get them at the Hankook Mart, our local 24-hour supermarket where there is sometimes a guy yelling over the sound system in Korean. I assumed that you had to ask for them like you did in Dunedin.

So the next day (or possibly a day later), I’d stopped at the Hankook Mart for some energy drinks (and some chocolate milk to drink after the Korean throat remedy I’d gotten from the 7-Eleven) on the way to work and had asked for a bag. My boss pointed to the bag and said that I’d managed to find the official rubbish bag. I was stunned! Here I thought I had to ask for them, and it turns out that the standard shopping bag was the official rubbish bag! They cost ₩500 (65 NZ cents) which is a bargain compared to the Dunedin rubbish bags.

Here is a photo of another rubbish disposal site less than 50 metres away:

The bins from left to right are labelled “bottles, cans, plastic, vinyl’. The bin on the left says “Pyeongtaek: a clean, masterpiece city is everyone’s duty”.

3 Replies to “Trash managment – Pyeongtaek vs Dunedin”

  1. Do they pick up all the rubbish? It looks very messy. I like the idea of putting your purchases in the official rubbish bags.

    1. It does get picked up, I think. The pile seems to change size each day but it never seems to all be gone. Not sure how it works. But it does mean you’re not screwed if you forget the weekly pickup day, like in NZ.

  2. I guess it’s for a large number of people so perhaps that’s why it never seems to disappear altogether. A reasonable price for the bags encourages people to use them.

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