One after another multiple trucks filled with trash continue to arrive at local recycling centers in South Korea.
Among other things, they are here to unload Styrofoam waste that is used for various kinds of packaging.
As people are either sending or receiving gifts more than they would normally during the pandemic, there is more waste that needs to be disposed of.
More so during this year’s Chuseok holiday.
One recycling center in Gyeonggi-do Province was receiving up to 63 tons of trash a day before the holiday, but afterthis figure rose to around 73 tons on average.

“The amount of waste that we received has jumped 15-percent since the COVID-19 outbreak, and even more so after the Chuseok holiday. The staff are working hard without taking days off to finish the job.”

“This massive amount of trash was thrown out after the Chuseok holiday, but some local businesses are turning it into something more useful by recycling it themselves.”

This process is called “upcycling”.
Waste plastics are collected by local businesses.
Then, they turn it into things like plastic keys that can be used to press elevator buttons and open doors while keeping physical contact to a minimum.

“This trash was produced because of the COVID-19 outbreak in the first place. So we decided to create something that can help prevent further spread of the virus .”

At this local coffee shop, icepacks and bubble wrap are like treasure.
Instead of throwing them all away, they are collected and given to other small businesses in the area to be reused.
This may be a small endeavorbut such efforts from local businesses can go a long way in helping to reduce waste caused by the pandemic.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.

Reporter : peterwjchoi@gmail.com

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