Environmental Technologies Industries
||Environmental Technologies Industries
In order to fulfill its often-stated objective of environmental improvement, Korea continues to heavily invest in environmental enhancement projects. With this goal in mind, the country's national and local governments plan to spend heavily in numerous waste management projects, including the construction of new landfill sites, incinerators, recycling plants, and hazardous waste management facilities. Good opportunities will exist for U.S. suppliers of environmental technology well into the future since Korean environmental companies will need advanced technology, much of which is available only from the U.S.
| Solid Waste Business Opportunities in Korea|
In Korea, solid waste usually is classified as either industrial or municipal. Industrial wastes are defined under the current law as general or specified, depending on their characteristics, while hazardous wastes theoretically are subject to more rigorous control with regards to collection, transport, storage, and treatment. In reality, this system is just getting started. Under Korea's new long-term plan, the government's future strategy will be oriented toward building integrated wasted management systems (IWIS), which are expected to give priority to recycling, incineration and finally landfill.
The country's generation and treatment of solid waste provide a further example of Korea's environmental challenges. Korean households generate a daily load of 47,900 tons of solid waste while industry produces another 146,800 tons, of which 6,075 tons is considered hazardous. Most of this solid waste is disposed of in the nation's 537 landfills, mostly managed by local governments and Environmental Management Corporations (EMC) across the country. At most landfills, this waste usually is dumped without being pre-sorted or treated. The typical landfill is very small, covering an average area of 36,030 square meters.
In 1996, the Korean government established its Comprehensive Waste management Plan, a nation-wide system designed to oversee the country's systematic management of solid wastes. The plan was essentially a revision of an earlier master plan for waste treatment, formulated back in 1993. The original plan was revised following recent changes in Korean industry structure and the implementation of recent waste management regulations (e.g. the pay-per-bag scheme). Starting in 1996, the Korean government began implementation of this revised plan which will continue through 2001.
Korean National Waste Management Targets (%)
|Recycling||Incineration|| Landfill |
National efforts are under way to not only to reduce the daily output of waste from households and industry, but also to manage that output more effectively. While Korea's recycling level currently is high compared to other industrialized countries, most of the country's wastes still end up in landfills, and the use of incineration facilities still is very low.
Method of Waste Treatment (1997)
Source: 1998 Environmental Statistics Yearbook, Ministry of Environment
The Korean Ministry of Environment (MOE) also is developing a program for transforming food wastes into usable resources. Under this proposed system, there would be several major steps nation-wide, including a system of separate discharge, a collection and transportation system, public and private investment in new and existing recycling facilities, and the development of new recycling technology. In order to support the installation of food waste treatment facilities, the MOE will, through 2001, allocate a budget totaling USD 33.7 million to expand the nation's food waste treatment facilities. As of December 1998, a total of 96 food waste treatment facilities were in operation in Korea or were under construction. By 2000, an additional USD 7.1 million will be placed in the recycling industry promotion fund in order to encourage food waste treatment facilities throughout the private sector.
The ROKG is increasingly focusing on implementing new reforms and also is budgeting more money in order to reduce solid waste pollution. Because of its high population density, Korea is in dire need of new and innovative waste technology systems. Technical services, and environmental equipment such as leachate treatment technology, HDPE liners, stocker type incineration technology, and domestic and food waste recycling equipment and services, are in particular need and opportunities for U.S. environmental exporters in these areas are especially promising.
CS Korea advises U.S. environmental firms interested in the Korean market to utilize the programs and services of the Commercial Service Korea/U.S.-Asia Environmental Partnership to identify and research potential opportunities. The following contacts may be useful to U.S. companies in obtaining further information and other necessary assistance.
Mr. Mitchel I. Auerbach, Commercial Attache'
Commercial Service Korea
82 Sejong-ro, Chongro-ku,
Seoul 110-050, Korea
(For mail from U.S.)
APO AP 96205-0001
Mr. Chi-Sun Lee, Director
1405, Leema Bldg., 146-1 Soosong-dong,
Chongro-ku, Seoul 110-140 Korea
ITA Site Map
of Commerce International