While creating an advanced safety management system for waste management, the Ministry of Environment is focused on efficient management of medical wastes and abandoned wastes. Besides, the Ministry has created and has been operating an online system for legitimate treatment of wastes. The policies are described as follows.


Safe ans Advanced Management of Hazardous Wastes


Background and Significance of the Policy Establishment


Since the enactment of Wastes Control Act in 1986, the government has continued to push for safe management of harmful wastes generated by the industry. Still, with the industrial advancement, newly designated wastes are generated in various kinds. On the other hand, with steadily rising income levels, interests in health are increasing while public demand for safe management of harmful wastes is growing.
In response to the changes at home and abroad, the government created an advanced safety management system for designated (harmful) wastes and is thereby pushing for an upgraded safety management with regard to designated (harmful) wastes that remain in blind spots.
The classification of designated (harmful) wastes as specified by Wastes Control Act is not fully segmentalized to represent the harmful properties of different types of wastes and is still using most of the classification system from the early 1990s. Business owners have been burdened with time and money required to conduct a component analysis to see whether their discharged wastes belong to designated (harmful) wastes, while it has been questioned whether it is appropriate for the designated wastes classification method to depend on the party that discharges wastes. In addition, due to the limitations of the classification itself, the treatment criteria and methods do not precisely take account of the properties of harmful wastes.
To solve such problems involved in the classification of designated (harmful) wastes, a medium-and-long-term plan has been drawn up to push for improvement of listing and management system with a view to safe management of designated (harmful) wastes.
The legal basis is found in Article 4 of Wastes Control Act (State Responsibility), which requires the country to take responsibility for understanding the status of the discharge and treatment of designated wastes and providing necessary measures to ensure an adequate treatment of designated wastes.


Achievements

From 2008 to 2012, the government conducted an adequacy assessment by analyzing harmful substances, comparing and examining the harmfulness of 317 different processes and types of wastes to come up with a list of 205 processes, and it plans to complete the listing of designated wastes on 245 processes by investigating 405 processes by 2013. Detailed classification of designated wastes ensures global compatibility and the party that discharges wastes becomes responsible for a reduced cost for classifying wastes. And since the classification further prevents harmful wastes from being discharged and inappropriately treated as ordinary wastes, safe management of designated wastes is expected to be further enhanced.
To alleviate blind spots in management of designated wastes and prevent hazards caused by wastes, criteria for hazardousness of recycled items have been adopted, while imported wastes can be ordered to be taken out of the country in case they are found with any risks to health and/or environment that could not be predicted at import declaration. Safety Management System has been enhanced regarding designated wastes, thus strengthening burial standards so that asbestos will not disperse while waste asbestos is buried, to prevent hazards from waste asbestos.
 In preparation for signing global convention on mercury, the government has prepared a plan on improving the management system for mercury-containing wastes and is conducting a basic survey of discharged mercury-containing wastes etc., while it plans to complete the creation of the safety management system related to mercury-containing wastes by 2016.


Safe and Efficient Management of Medical Wastes


Background and Significance of the Policy Establishment


Medical wastes require strict management and safe treatment, as they are generated in medical services and research activities related to diseases and containing disease-spreading viruses and bacteria that are highly infectious and have high risks of secondary infection that are difficult to treat. Currently, 115,000 tons of medical wastes are generated yearly (as from 2010), and the amount is expected to continue to grow with the increasing elderly population, which buttresses the need to steadily push for a policy for an efficient safety management related to medical wastes.
While the infectious character of medical wastes requires a strict management, their efficient management within a scope that reassures safety must not be disregarded. Thus, it has been necessary to create an efficient management system and alleviate the burden of the discharging party (e.g. hospitals), while reinforcing the safety management from discharge to treatment of medical wastes.
To make improvement on such problematic aspects, the government has come to work to upgrade efficiency in the use of containers dedicated to medical wastes within a scope that assures safety management while moving to establish RFID that would ensure real-time computerized monitoring of the discharge, collection, transport, and disposal of medical wastes.
The legal basis for the policy is found in Article 4 of Wastes Control Act (State Responsibilities) stipulating that the country manages the discharge and treatment of designated wastes and prepares necessary measures to ensure an appropriate disposal of designated wastes.


Achievements

As the RFID-applied tracking of the entire process of discharge, collection/transport, and treatment of wastes was required for the transfer of medical wastes (August 4, 2008), and thereby ensured a real-time monitoring for an appropriate discharge, collection/transport, and treatment of all medical wastes, a considerable portion of illegal wastes treatment has been eradicated.
In 2008, an improvement allowed mixed type of storage reflecting properties, source, and character of medical wastes so that treatment is facilitated to meet the demand from discharging parties and treatment business. Solid types of pathological, biochemical, blood-tainted, and ordinary medical wastes were allowed to be stored together in envelope-shaped or cardboard containers, and liquid types of wastes were to be stored in synthetic resin container, while highly infectious quarantine wastes, body tissues likely to decompose in room temperature, and damageable matters were still prohibited from mixed type of storage, thus ensuring an efficient management by rationalizing criteria on storage of medical wastes.
In 2010, standards were liberalized to facilitate the storage, transport, and treatment by discharging parties and medical wastes treatment business, creation of dedicated containers of the size that the beneficiary desires, and legal action was ensured against a person who produces, distributes, or uses illegal dedicated containers. Furthermore, in 2011, the requirement related to the labeling of containers dedicated to medical wastes was improved to alleviate the waste-discharging person's financial burden related to the use of dedicated containers.


Implementation of Measures for Treating Abandoned Wastes


Background and Significance of the Policy Establishment


Abandoned wastes are generated when a discharging person or a treating business cannot dispose of them in a timely manner for the reason of business difficulty including bankruptcy, and as the failure to dispose of them promptly would cause secondary pollution and add further damage to the environment, they should be quickly taken care of through execution by proxy. To this end, it is necessary to realize the system of performance bonds for execution by proxy to ensure disposal of all wastes, while it is more important to prevent occurrence of abandoned wastes. Against this background, the government has gone beyond the past practice of encouraging local governments to dispose of abandoned wastes and is now pushing for institutional improvement for realization of implementing performance bonds regarding abandoned wastes and creation of a computerized management system for prevention of their occurrence.
Things were in such a state that in order to suppress the occurrence of abandoned wastes, it was necessary to secure a clear-cut legal basis for a proactive action that would ensure a discharging person, a treating business or its successor from generating abandoned wastes, while there existed difficulties in disposing of abandoned wastes since the amount of implementation deposit regarding disposal of abandoned wastes was small. Therefore, a legal basis for ordering the discharging person, a business or its successor to obviate occurrence of abandoned wastes has been specified in Wastes Control Act, realizing the unit price of treatment of performance bonds regarding disposal of abandoned wastes.
The legal basis is found in Article 40 of Wastes Control Act (Disposal of Wastes Abandoned by A Treating Business etc.), which stipulates that in order to steer clear of any occurrence of abandoned wastes, performance bonds regarding disposal of abandoned wastes is paid in advance, and that in the occurrence of any abandoned wastes, an order for their disposal and execution by proxy shall proceed in due order.


Achievements

In October 2008, costs for disposal of different types of abandoned wastes were raised to ensure an efficient implementation of abandoned wastes disposal, and in July 2010, the procedure was revised so that in case a waste-discharging person passes a deadline on the storage of the wastes, suspension of business and disposal of the wastes in storage shall be simultaneously ordered. With additional legal provision against occurrence of abandoned wastes, a successor to the rights and responsibilities of a discharging person or a treatment business shall be ordered to dispose of abandoned wastes.
Through institutional improvement and efforts by cities, counties, and districts for timely disposal of abandoned wastes, the amount of abandoned wastes steadily dwindled, decreasing about 60% from 322,000 tons by the end of 2007 to 126,000 in 2010.

Year-by-Year Occurrence of Abandoned Wastes


Online Waste Disposal Verification System (Allbaro System)


Background and Significance of the Policy Establishment


'Wastes Disposal Proof System' that was previously enforced in order to track and monitor the mobility of wastes could not achieve its intended goal, since it demanded excessive amounts of manpower and time for comparing and checking for tracking purpose as the whole procedures including creation of Wastes Receipt or Simplified Wastes Receipt, transfer, and report to relevant administrative organization were all manually carried out.
To address the issues, in September 2001, the System for Legitimate Disposal of Wastes (Allbaro System), which would enable entry, comparison, check, analysis, and record-keeping related to the entire process from discharge and final disposal of wastes on the Internet, was developed and created as information support project by the Ministry of Information and Communication, and following its pilot run, started its legitimate operation in September 2002, serving business discharging large amounts of designated wastes and their contracted and entrusted collectors, transporters, treatment businesses.
The System for Legitimate Disposal of Wastes makes sure by processing on the Internet as electronic data Wastes Receipts circulated by discharger, transporter, treatment businesses, and administrative organization and consolidating, comparing, and analyzing it with the existing information on authorization and permission involving business as well as wastes transfer, that a user can check real-time on realization of legitimate and transparent mobility of wastes, thus preventing inappropriate disposal of wastes.
With the successful pilot run and gradual expansion of System for Legitimate Disposal of Wastes that was operated to ensure legitimate disposal of business wastes, Wastes Control Act was amended in 2007 to make mandatory creation of an electronic receipt using the System when business wastes are to be discharged, transported, and/or disposed of. Previously restricted to some of business wastes, the policy was expanded and applied to construction wastes that take up the majority of the total amount of domestically generated wastes in 2010 to enable management of most of the business wastes, and starting in July 2011, the scope of obligated business was extended to include business subject to register wastes, which enabled acquisition of accurate statistical data on wastes, which is expected to be of much use in drawing up policies related to wastes.


Achievements

Following the full-blown operation of the system that began in September 2002, it was gradually expanded to ensure its use for discharge, transport, and disposal of business wastes, and as from late 2011, about 310,000 businesses were using the system, while yearly 900 million electronic receipts were issued to demonstrate the electronic management of about 123 million tons, taking up most of the domestically generated business wastes, which can be calculated into the economic benefit of KRW 225.4 billion of saved money and the outcome of 4,792 tons of reduced greenhouse gas. The discharge, transport, and/or disposal of most of business wastes are collected and analyzed real-time by the system and used for wastes management policy, with the created data being effectively utilized for fostering industry and institutional improvement related to wastes.

Year-by-Year Occurrence of Abandoned Wastes

 


Last modified : 2013-10-29 17:17

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