The Korea Herald


[Graphic News] New disposal system reduces household waste

By 이현정

Published : July 8, 2015 - 21:08

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The amount of Korean household waste has fallen sharply over the past 20 years thanks to the introduction of a new disposable system, a report showed Wednesday.

Since 1995, the government has implemented a volume-rate disposal system which requires residents to purchase and use special trash bags. The price of the trash bag is proportional to its volume.

As of 2013, Koreans threw out about 49,000 tons of waste each day, which is 16.2 percent lower than before the system was introduced. The daily trash per capita also declined to 0.94 kilograms, down by 29 percent.

The recycling rate also rose while the landfill rate and incineration level dropped.

Compared to 1994, the daily recycling rate soared by over 220 percent to 29,000 tons in 2013. The daily landfill rate, on the other hand, plummeted to 7,600 tons, down by 83.3 percent.

Concerns about the waste management, however, remain as landfill sites are approaching capacity.

As of 2010, about 18 percent of Korean waste went into landfill, while many European countries such as Netherlands and Germany have kept the figure at less than 1 percent.