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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Real progressive trash policy

South Korea has a pretty progressive trash collection policy.  I can get my trash picked up on most days of the week.  But it is not quite that simple.  You have to methodically separate your trash.  See the schedule below:

Sunday:         Food waste and regular trash
Monday:       Recycling - paper, plastic, and vinyl
Tuesday:       Food waste and regular trash

Wednesday:  Recycling - can, glass
Thursday:      Food waste and regular trash

Friday:          No trash pick up
Saturday:      No trash pick up

If that was not interesting enough, check this.  Food waste is put into a special container that allows the liquid to drain out and leave only the solids. Some people even separate stuff that is edible and leave it out for the stray dogs and cats.   When you take down your food waste, you put a special sticker on your container that you can buy from the local market.  My market is about 40 meters from my apartment.  So I go there daily to get the supplies I need. 

Recycling can be put into any bag and left on the curb on the appropriate day.  In order to dispose of your regular trash, you have to buy special bags at the local market.  They are not expensive, but they are 3 or 4 times the cost of trash bags in the States.  Instead of paying property or sales taxes to cover garbage collection, you pay for it when you buy these special bags.  The bags are marked for you specific neighborhood.  And since you are paying for the waste you produce, it is a very fair system.  Also, there is no cost for the recycling. 

The end result is you recycle everything that you can in order to minimize the volume used in your pay bags and food waste bin.  How cool is that?
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