My lovely India – It’s not that difficult!!!

  My lovely India – It’s not that difficult!!!

Experience Worth Sharing

Being a teacher...being a researcher and being an environmentalist....I have been always gazing for solution to environmental problems. For a teacher it is always very negative and de-motivating to tell students that we failed in this technology or trial.

I think either we belong to the subject or not but all of us being conscious human being don’t like the dump solid waste in our society, roads, markets etc. We blame Government every time we see the dump besides my area. We always appreciate foreign lands for their cleanliness and technology of waste treatment. But, when it comes to me I say why should I??? Why should I pay tipping fees for lifting my waste, why should I segregate waste and how can I train my maid for the same?

Nothing is waste, waste for one is resource for other; that is the first thing we perceive when talk about waste. I always taught Municipal Solid Waste Management to my students and always halt; when I come to our management failure in solid waste. I used to say...waste segregation is the basic problem that our municipalities and management hierarchy is facing for solid waste treatment and disposal. And, personally I felt the same till the day I arrived South Korea and saw what and how they do?

South Korea located in our own continent Asia; which has very recently joined the developed title to its name in 2015 due to its strong per capita gross domestic product (GDP) and many other indexes.

I can see many similarities in Indian and Korean culture; people and society...probably because we share same continent. Another thing that I noticed was that they are also foodie like we Indians are...they cook variety of food to pacify their taste buds. I just want to mention this point is because they too have lot and lot of organic waste. Rather than looking for some impractical and uneconomical ways of waste treatment after mixing of variety of waste; they have tried to come up with easy and economical ways of waste segregation. They would have been also crying for the waste dump load if they would have done what we Indians are doing with our waste. They adopted a better innovative way for reducing their waste dump....which I am going to share with you all. I hope you will like it too....

I recently shifted to Suwon city of South Korea with my family for a year. I got my flat keys after a week or so and also got a do’s and don’t list.  Apart from not make noise.., we share wall and floor with more thing apprised to us was....segregate your waste and don’t waste your food. will be penalised if you waste food.

Food wasting.....thank god I am not that kind of person but yes segregation seems to be a herculean task. I am supposed to learn things as I need to manage my home.

Two extra key cards that I got with my home key cards were the cards that track my food waste and that allow me to throw my food waste. These yellow cards indicate your flat number and tower number to track how much food waste is coming from your home.

Very new to the place and really curious about how the system works, I went to dispose off my food waste for the first time. Every three four buildings have special designated counters to dispose off your waste (these green machine in picture)....and yes maids and sweepers to do your work.



These green machines are there in building premises to collect your food waste. As far as I know most of the food waste goes for composting in Korea. The machine maintains a record of your food waste and if you exceed their standard you will get a penalty in your maintenance bill. You need to take waste in a polythene bag (yes not banned hereJ), throw the waste and a special container will be there to through the polythene soiled with food.


I forget to tell you about major categories in which waste should be segregated; off course the first is food waste and other two categories are recycle waste and garbage.

  • Food waste (kitchen waste from cooking, peels, leftover food etc)
  • Garbage (dust, hairs, tissues, wrappers etc)
  • Recycle waste – you need to segregate again in glass, metal, polythenes, tetra pack, mineral water bottles, cans etc.

Let’s talk about special day MONDAY...oh why it’s special??? No...not because of start of week....perhaps because it’s the RECYCLE DAY. I don’t know about whole of Korea but for my society Monday 4 pm to Tuesday 9 am (exact) is the recycle day. One will find designated place near those food machine to keep your recyclables.



I even loved the timing they decided... the time which suits everyone. Sharply at 9am on Tuesday a truck comes and cleans everything one by one every component of recycle in minutes. I don’t know how much recyclables do we produce in India, but here the load of recyclables is huge...beyond my expectations.

As all other recyclables are in big bags (you can see in pictures); thus storage and transportation is not difficult only the cartons, obsolete furniture, mattress etc are gathered by truck for recycling.

The last component of segregated waste is garbage. Yes, the rules are stringent enough for that. One can only through garbage in big incinerator bags which you need to purchase from store... else penalty. Separate big dumper bins are provided in the waste shed units for throwing these bags ones they are full. All the waste in it is dry and combustible.



So, after all these details I would only like to say that even my toddler has learnt to separate food waste and garbage, I hope we all can also do. Segregation do not require excess of infrastructure....big dustbins....transport just need a sensitivity towards our mother earth and strong motivation.

Let’s stop blaming our urban local bodies and Government and try to implement waste segregation in our life, its actually not difficult.