Skip to main content

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!!

Popular posts from this blog


My regular journaling has significantly improved my mood.

I've been taking some time, twice a week, to polish existing content as well as develop my floating ideas into a more concrete outline.

I've felt this focus for the last 6 weeks that I can't really describe properly. It's as though I've shifted my thinking totally. Writing is my craft. It's what I do, who I am, how I exist. It's like my mojo.

So, I guess, I've gotten my mojo back. My focus, my purpose, my essence.

And it feels good. It feels right. And I am almost understanding more now why the best writing of the best writers happens when they are older, more polished, more experienced, more rough around the edges.

When all the youthful spark has been extinguished and what's left, is the determined embers, that will not go softly, that will not die out. That will continue, fervently glowing, creating warmth and not just drawing attention from its flicker, but pulling people in by it's so…

Room with a view

We've been in our new home for 10 weeks nos and it's feeling more like home than ever.Every day, I sit down at my desk to the most inspiring view.A collection of stories is building. This space makes it easy to gather my thoughts.I've been consumed with a few work projects and am looking forward to collecting my thoughts soon.Writers club is still going ... I was on a bit of a hiatus but hope to get into my routine for fall. For now, boat gazing is helping.

One thing

It's that time of year again. That time when we all decide to become a little more of our better selves.

It's a good time of year to commit to something, even if just to say you're going to try to make it happen. And, even if things don't change and perhaps you even fail at whatever you were resolving, it's actually just the action of pledging change that really brings the most benefit.

And so, this year, as I'm sure most writers are pledging, I pledge to WRITE. MORE.

Not necessarily blog more. But write more. Keep the act of it going. Commit to treating it as my craft instead of my hobby. Promising to keep it a hobby at heart but a skill in practice.

I've started a daily journal again - one page per day -- of anything, really mostly a rundown of what I did that day. Or heck, even a bit of stream of consciousness of what's banging around in the old head that day.

I also bought another daily Q&A book that, if I'm successful, will carry me across…