Koreans Save Money With Waste Disposal Units

South Korea has recently implemented a new waste disposal system.  Over half of the 229 municipal and provincial councils have implemented a pilot scheme to charge residents for food waste disposal based on weight.   A smart radio frequency identification (RFID) system is utilised that calculates the weight of waste automatically and charges fees based on the results.

Big savings are anticipated with the new system is estimated to reduce the amount of annual food waste by up to 20 percent, saving local authorities about 5 trillion won ($44 billion) in waste treatment cost, according to the Ministry of Environment. Residents who use this method put their food waste in a plastic wastebasket with an RFID tag. The RFID tag can read the resident’s name and address which is stored in his or her RFID cards.
The RFID method is the most efficient way of reducing the food waste volume, according to the government.  However, it has a high installation cost, which averages 2 million won ($1,700) per basket meaning very high running costs to the consumers.

Since 1995, the use of disposers in the sink has been banned after drain pipes became clogged with shredded food waste, which allegedly caused a sewage disposal plant to shut down.  However the blockage was more likely to be caused by residents simply putting unshredded waste into their toilets which not only creates blockages but also attracts more vermin into the already vermin infested sewers.  Following a review of the policy many are now expecting the  installation of disposers to become legal again, especially in some of the new towns being built.

The Environment Ministry has recently implemented a pilot study to review and establish the effectiveness of the garbage disposer.  At a stated cost of over £3,000 to install one they must be using gold plated disposers since in the rest of the World they are a fraction of that!  However satisfaction levels were excellent with over 90 percent of the residents who participated in the study either satisfied or very satisfied with the unit they were given to try.

Story courtesy of The Korean Times.