Public restroom trash cans to be removed

By Jung Min-kyung
  • Published : May 2, 2017 - 14:10
  • Updated : May 2, 2017 - 17:53
One Korean practice that has often baffled foreigners is the trash bins inside public bathrooms accompanied by signs asking users not to flush down toilet paper and instead to toss it into a bin.

This is about to change. Starting Jan. 1 next year, all public bathrooms will be devoid of trash cans, under a revised law that passed the Cabinet on Tuesday.


“We believe it’s more reasonable to distribute rapid dissolving toilet papers for public restrooms instead of trash cans which can cause hygiene issues,” said the Ministry of Interior, which proposed and drafted the revision bill on the management of public restrooms.

Under the amended law, garbage cans inside all bathroom stalls for both sexes are to be removed due to issues such as poor sanitation and bad odor. Boxes will be installed for women to dispose used feminine hygiene products.

“The revisions were proposed to accommodate users’ needs and convenience when using the restrooms,” added the ministry.

The news drew a sigh of relief from subway commuters who frequent public bathrooms. A 22-year-old university student surnamed Lee, who regularly stops by a restroom at Jemulpo Station in Incheon every morning said, “I’m glad I don’t have to see a pile of overflowing trash just laid out for everyone to see.”

The revised law also addresses other inconveniences. For instance, janitors or cleaning staff will be required to place signs in front of the entrance of bathrooms when cleaning facilities for the opposite sex.

Dividers measuring 40 centimeters wide and 60 centimeters long will also be installed between urinals in men’s bathrooms.

By Jung Min-kyung (