A couple nights ago found me reluctantly gathering the trash for a nightly trash run down to the apartment dumpster on level B2. I gathered the goods and walked down quickly hoping to get it over with so I could jump into bed. After I separated the trash into plastic and paper, and after dumping the food, I spotted something quite amazing…..

Now, before I go on with the story, let me just tell you that I don’t normally take things from the trash. However, here in Korea (especially in the big apartment buildings) there is always someone getting rid of their furniture or other “nice” things. A lot of times you can find some pretty nice stuff. Also, I would like to note that it is quite common for people to take the aforementioned “nice” stuff as their own. Oh, can I mention something else? Furniture can be a bit expensive here.

Anyway, where was I?…oh yes…so, I spotted something quite amazing. After looking over my shoulder to make sure no one saw me, I cautiously inspected the item in question. I quickly took the elevator back to our place and told Daniel that he had to go down to the trash and see what I saw. I informed him that there was a sign taped to it that mentioned something about 4,000 won (approx. 4 dollars).

note: after translating the sign later, we found that it was a notice to the owner of the aforementioned good to pay the 4,000 won dumping fee.

Daniel went down and found the good to be very nice and worth the trouble of asking the security/maintenance guy (관리서) whether we could take it (since we weren’t sure what the sign actually said). To our luck he said sure and we found ourselves with quite a nice new addition to our living room.


Here is a picture of our “new” really nice entertainment center. It was a lot heavier than we thought and it is a really nice piece of furniture. The two cupboards on the side are rather large and you can see that it is rather long—great for some future plants, and, of course, our tv. Another good thing is that I guess we saved the former owner the 4,000 won dumping fee…as we later found out after translating the sign.

Just to note, I did find some other things down there in the trash before.

1. A bag full of pretty nice hangars

2. A cabinet-like piece of furniture that has housed some of our books (I plan on dumping this now since we found this nice little entertainment center.

3. Our “new” entertainment center

Some new words we learned:



경비실=guard office

신고하다=to notify, report

폐가물비용=waste fee