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This is the Way We Compost our Food, Compost our Food, Compost our Food

(facinating how teaching kindergarten gives you this 'gift' to turn every normal sentence into a song. Sing it with me now people....early in the morning)

I thought I would give you a little glimpse into the Korean proceedure for disposal of your food garbage. When I first arrived from un-green Belfast (yes, I said it. Belfast is not green. I don't care what the leprecauns told you! them or Westlife!) I was at a loss to figure out just HOW I was going to manage all the extra time and effort it takes to actually NOT BE A TOTAL WASTER.

Now, it seems a bit like second nature.

In every household in Korea (or at least every KOREAN household as the foreign one we moved into was NOT equiped with the following device giving me an ever needed excuse to A go shopping and B spend money) the following bucket.

This looks like an ordinary bucket but I can assure you my friends, it is not. Watch as the magic unfolds:

There's another bucket inside! This smaller bucket is where the food sits. Scraps from dinner. Food that has gone off. Any item that can be composted.

And here is where the magic begins:

We have a special colour coded handle which allows us to lift out the black bucket when it is full. Let me clarify here that while you're in the house, you RARELY keep the lid off the bucket for very long. These pictures were taken AFTER I had gone outside to the green compost bin to dispose of the daily food waste. It's amazing how DISGUSTING it smells when there is rotting food in it so I avoid at all costs opening it for more than the millisecond it takes to put the food in.

(yes, you read right MILLISECOND. Amazing how fast you can master something when gagging comes into play)

So, as I was saying, when you are OUTSIDE you can easily lift the black bucket out to dump the garbage in the compost bin.

And here it is. All squeakly clean. And dish soap smelling. It's hard to tell from this image, but it's built a little like a colander, with net-like holes for the liquid to drip out. The liquid then runs into the main bucket - here's what the bottom looks like, again, freshly washed:

I haven't quite figured out why the liquid needs to drain out. I just end up pouring the liquid in the compost bin as well. Perhaps, just like laundry, the Koreans like their dirty things separate. Dirty food. Dirty liquid. Separate containers.

Once you're finished, the black bucket fits nicely back into the green one. (notice the soap suds on the metal sink - this blue bucket wouldn't be withint 100 feet of that thing if it hadn't been disinfected)

And finally, the lid retuns to it's rightful place, ending the daily ritual in a effort to keep the earth clean.

Doing my bit for the environment. One rotting apple at a time.

Tomorrow: the SINK compost and the story of how what we thought was a garbage disposal on our first day in the house, turned into just another way to have rotting food lying around.


Anonymous said…
Is that a lighter I seen on your counter :(

It looks like such a small little bucket. How can it hold all the food scraps that you produce? What happens if you don't use this device?...other than the planet dies a slow death.

Oh MS obsess much????? ;)

They actually use lighters here to light their indoor bbqs (a bit like coleman stoves) so i think that's why we have so many....

oh ya and also i'm back to 10 packs a day....

in the time it takes to fill the bucket, you wouldn't really want to have any more space as it's already stinking. most families empty theirs every day...i try to get to mine at least every 2 days because otherwise, mould, did I mention I forgot to empty it when we went to Seoul for 5 DAYS???? umm..ya yummy!!

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