As of 2010, almost 18 trillion won or 15.8 billion US dollars is spent on organic food waste in Korea each year not including the additional 525 million dollars spent on disposal.
Such expenses are predicted to escalate to a whopping 21.9 billion dollars by 2015.
In effort to pin down the problem, the Ministry of Environment will put in place a new set of measures to get 95 percent of Koreans to reduce their food waste.
And… this audacious plan to slash the country's food trash will be grafted by Korea's advanced IT technology.
The current volume-rate garbage disposal system allows households to use plastic bags when disposing of food waste.
However… this system is scheduled to be phased out and replaced by plastic baskets embedded with radio frequency identification or RFID tags… indicating the name and address of the user.
[Interview : Kim Jin-myoung, Deputy Director
Ministry of Environment ] "The utilization of RFID tags in the volume-rate garbage disposal system is very efficient in terms of reducing food waste, since the bill can be charged based on the weight. There are about seven municipal governments currently testing the system, and we hope 10 additional governing bodies will adopt the application by next year."
And one domestic IT environment business pioneer is collaborating with Korea's regional government by implementing the system in the capital of North Jeolla Province, Jeonju.
[Interview : Seo Bong-sang, Director
AllforLand] "Previously when we used the volume-rate garbage disposal system, residents had to purchase specific rubbish bags or coupons to dispose of their food waste, but now, by adopting the RFID-based method, this kind of inconvenience has been removed and residents can pay for their disposal based on weight."
People will be able to bring the baskets to either sanitary workers or stationed bins, which will measure the weight and transmit the information to the local administration's main server… for the billing process.
"The Korean government projects the RFID-based innovative platforms could reduce close to 20 percent of the country's food waste, as well as prevent 4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Yang Ji-woo, Arirang News."