5.107 Fusilli in Meat Sauce

Cycle 5 – Item 107

 22 (Tue) April 2014

Fusilli in Meat Sauce


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with DJ + IZ

Home Visit 4: Break + Housekeeping (Day 7)

Concluding my initial 3-month contract with WHO, now extended 5.5 months, I’m back in Korea to take a break (contract break and personal break) and attend to various housekeeping matters – mostly for the (personal) break.

One of Korea’s greatest regulatory achievements is the management of garbage in big cities.  Non-recyclable refuse must be disposed of only in government-issued bags available in all supermarkets and convenience stores – a 20-liter bag, for example, costing 500 won (about USD 0.50) – not a big deal, more of a hassle, but it does compel citizens to set aside bulky bottles and such for the recycling bin.  Violations up to 300,000 won, but I don’t know if it’s ever enforced.  Regardless, everyone that I know complies.  In every neighborhood and apartment complex, recyclable bins are made available by type.  Even in fast food restaurants (e.g., McDonald’s), the trash receptacles are customized with different slots for food wastes, plastics, and miscellaneous waste.  Campsites follow the system, although the rules don’t apply to them.  And to reduce the use of paper/plastic, stores are required to charge 50 won for each shopping bag or may opt to sell the official garbage bags at cost or give away empty merchandise boxes; as a result, customers often bring their own reusable shopping bags.   I don’t know if any of these efforts really make a difference to the environment, but it feels like it will.

At least in part, I’m in Korea to clean house, quite literally.  Our apartment complex arranges for recycling just once a week – long ago, for esthetic reasons, the residents voted not to have permanent disposal bins, except for food and certain other items, so the guards set everything up ad hov – begins on Tuesday evening and runs through Wednesday morning, when the garbage trucks come to pick up their loot.  This was the first time since January that I’ve been here on a Tuesday – and no, W doesn’t deal with things like this – so the recyclables have been piling up.  A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.



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