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Slice of Life: Recycling Tuesdays

May 15, 2012

Here in South Korea, recycling is kind of a big deal. Which, being somewhat of an environmentalist, I LOVE this side of Korea. When I was in elementary school I always tried to get my family to recycle (and save endangered animals like the tigers of course) but my dad always just said it costs more to recycle than to make something new. That might be true, but there is still value in recycling or just not creating waste. I think that I like the Zero Waste policy better than recycling. However, given our circumstances and the context that we live in, it is difficult to be environmentally conscious all the time, I will admit that.

In Korea, everyone is required to recycle and it is not easy to get around it. There are actually special bags that you have to buy for food garbage and when you leave big items in the trash, you have to pay. The city has also done away with public trash cans for the most part– I mean who gets rid of trash cans? Well, Korea does. I don’t know the real reason but I suppose this forces people to carry around their trash, to not create trash…or, well, to litter (and  naturally, that gives the adjummas and adjushis a job….). I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve carried around trash all day because I couldn’t find a trash can! Subway stations are your best bet for finding a trash can~

Anyway. Every Tuesday at our apartment complex there is recycling/trash day. Everyone comes out and sorts through his recyclables and trash. These are the days that I have stumbled upon some excellent furniture for my house! Koreans throw out perfectly good items, so how could I resist? Here are just a few of the amazing treasures I’ve found in the trash:

table from the trash

shelf from trash

desk and painting from trash

bed from trash

plant pots from trash

painting from trash

In our apartment we keep three bins for sorting our garbage (glass/cans, paper, plastic). We also freeze our food trash so that it doesn’t smell. Then on Tuesdays we carry everything down to the center of the complex and sort it all out. If you don’t do it correctly the adjushi will yell at you so you can’t get away with anything! You better do it correctly or else… you might have one angry adjushi in your face.

Sorting trash and recyclables

Just another slice of life every Tuesday~

The slice of life challenge is hosted every Tuesday by Two Writing Teachers.

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