SEOUL, Korea ¶ Nov 14, 2011 (Whowired) As shockingly shown in "Taste The Waste" -- a scandalous documentary highlighting the effect of wasting food on the planet -- food waste or food loss is a huge headache on the planet. In case of the US, it generates more than 34 million tons of food waste each year (as of 2009) -- responsible for more than 14 percent of the total municipal solid waste stream.
Korea is also comparable to such staggering amount of wasted food; The country generates over 5.1 million tons of food waste -- equivalent of 15trillion Won (US$ 13.3bn) --annually. And to head off an increasing amount of food waste, Korea has been introducing effective policies one after another; the separate garbage collection and the volume-rate garbage disposal system are good examples.
* Click for watching "Taste the Waste" (trailer)
Now, Korea is trying to take a step forward to cut down on the wasted food tapping one of the most commercialized technologies in our daily life: Radio-frequency identification (RFID). Following Yeongdeungpo-gu in Seoul’s first trial, Yangju City Government in Gyeonggi Province is also to introduce the RFID-based volume-rate garbage disposal system -- that is, the more you generate food waste, the more you pay for the public tax. Currently, Korea implements the volume-rate garbage disposal system but imposes "uniformed" rate (1,900 Won) regardless of amounts of food waste.
The new system automatically can measure and manage "individual" amounts of food waste according to the food waste generator, thanks to RFID's data transfer and tracking capability. This move is widely welcomed as a good way to reduce food waste that is "recklessly" generated while addressing one of the most common complaints from the citizens: "it is "unfair" to pay the "unified" tax regardless of the amount of food waste, after all."
Sam Kim (email@example.com)
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