Legal Classification of Wastes

The Wastes Control Act largely classifies wastes into “residential wastes” and “business wastes” depending on the source of generation. Business wastes are divided into “general industrial waste”, “construction waste”, and “designated waste” according to hazardousness. Examples of designated wastes include 21 wastes with potential hazards to the human body, including waste oil, waste acids and medical waste, and construction waste takes up a considerable portion of industrial wastes.

Legal Classfication of Wastes

Volume-based Waste Fee System

The Volume-based Waste Disposal System is a policy, in accordance with the polluter pays principle, to fundamentally reduce waste generation and facilitate separation and discharge of recyclable materials by imposing waste fees in proportion to the amount of residential wastes one generates (except recyclable wastes). Under this program, wastes are required to be discharged by using designated standard plastic garbage bags or putting on labels marking wastes as bulky waste, and the charges are collected by selling volume-rate garbage bags and labels marking wastes. In the case of discharging recyclable materials, they are collected free of charge regardless of the amount.

The Volume-based Waste Disposal System applies to residential waste discharged from households and business operations, and was recently expanded to cover food waste.3) This program, launched in January 1995, is considered to have significantly decreased the amount of residential waste. With this, the daily generated amount of residential waste per person decreased from 1.3kg in 1994 to 1.0kg since 1995 after the implementation of the program.
3) For more information, see Current Policy Focus (2) Volume-based Food Waste Fee System

Waste Charging System

The Waste Charging System is designed to control the generation of wastes and prevent waste of resources by charging the manufacturers or importers, under the polluter pays principle, the cost for disposing of products, materials and containers that include poison or harmful substances, or are difficult to reuse and have the potential to create problems in waste management.

The collected waste charges revert to the Environmental Improvement Special Account and are used to fund studies on waste reduction and reuse, as well as the development of related technology, supporting projects for installing waste disposal facilities and reusing waste, funding local governments for retrieving and reusing waste, and purchasing and stocking up on reusable resources.

The items charged as of 2013 are pesticide and poisonous substance containers, anti-freeze, chewing gum, disposable diapers, cigarettes, and plastics. As for plastics, the disposal cost will be levied on the end product rather than the raw material itself, considering the varying reuse rates.

Business Waste Reduction Program

The Reduction of Industrial Waste program is concerned with reducing environmental hazards by minimizing the amount of waste disposed of through the control of their generation and expansion of recycling in order to encourage the voluntary efforts of businesses to reduce harmful waste.

This program was introduced in December 1996, and four types of business operations were added to target businesses subject to mandatory waste reduction in 2014. Currently, 2,312 businesses from 18 types of business operations that are considered to generate large amounts of waste are designated for the reduction program and encouraged to voluntarily make improvements on waste reduction. An analysis and evaluation of waste reduction records in 2012 shows that production output increased by 6.9% compared to the previous year, while the amount of waste generated increased by 5.4% compared to the previous year. This result indicates that the voluntary efforts of businesses, including eco-friendly process improvement (1.7 million tons) and eco-friendly material use led to the prevention of waste generation.

Business Waste Reduction Results

In 2005, an online waste reduction information system (www.allbaro.or.kr) was created to provide information on waste reduction policy direction, model cases and reduction methods, and a reward program for businesses with outstanding performance in reducing waste generation, as well as a presentation program for model businesses with outstanding performance in reducing waste generation, have been in place.

For more information, please contact us :
Public Relations Team  Kang YuRi (82-44-201-6063)   
Last modified : 2016-11-03 22:58

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