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최종편집 : 2019.11.18 월 15:23
CoverControversial Issues
Fertilization of Food Waste Cannot Be a Solution
Ryu Dong-hyeon  |  r12dh16@naver.com
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승인 2019.05.10  23:24:10
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

            According to the Ministry of Environment, food waste in South Korea accounted for about 24.6 percent of all household waste, generating 11,434 tons per day in 2000. This is decreased more than 24 percent from 15,075 tons a day in 1995, but it was still the second largest share of the nation's organic waste after livestock excrement. Methods of food waste disposal include incineration and landfills. However, landfills pose problems such as leachate and groundwater contamination. Moreover, in the case of incineration, hazardous gas is sprayed into the air and incineration is subsidized fuel non-economically. Plus, it costs a lot to maintain expensive facilities. To deal with these problems, a new method for fertilizing food waste has been suggested by the Rural Development Administration, but, as this article will explain, the proposed method also has many problems.

           The first problem involves the fact that food waste contains salt. Why is this a problem? Salt can be the biggest obstacle to fertilization. The salinity causes the soil particles that are bound together to separate. This is a problem because the soil of agricultural land needs to have particles that are structurally intertwined in order for the land to be soft enough that crops can grow with air and water. For this reason, the salts contained in the food wastes are not appropriate as fertilizer, as they could interfere with the structural integrity of the soil. In fact, the salt content by food waste is as follows. These figures do not appear to be high, but they cannot be used as fertilizer because regular fertilizers contain very little salt.
 
 
 
 
Emission Source
Salinity (%)
Restaurant
Household
Agricultural Wholesale Market
3.36
4.84
0.78
Source (1998, Jeong Gwang-yong)
Second, there is a problem with the method of fertilizing food waste. In the case of the 'forced draught agitated fermentor’ currently operated by a consignee or a local government, it takes about 5 to 15 days to fertilize food waste by artificially supplying oxygen. However, this method does not make a complete fertilizer. Moreover, only if sawdust is mixed with the food waste can it be used as a complete fertilizer. Since sawdust requires the destruction of trees, not only does the production process involve environmental damage, it is also inefficient, as sawdust trees are known to take more than 40 years to fertilize. For these reasons, food waste is simply not a practical fertilizer.
           Third, food waste can be used in other ways. The food waste can be used in various ways with current technology. To be specific, food wastes can also be used as fuel. The technology is now in the limelight by many companies. A company called SmartCara has been actively researching it. "The result of food waste processed through SmartCara is almost completely dry with a moisture content of 3.9% according to the K-mark certification test report. Even though it's food waste, it doesn't smell when burned," according to Choi Ho-sik, a CEO of SmartCara, adding, "Although it hasn't been commercialized yet, we expect it could be expanded from burner fuel to renewable energy. We will push ahead with the pilot application of the camping site in the near future," with hinting at the possibility. In this way, there is an efficient way to fuel food waste rather than fertilize it. Thus, it is hard to understand why some people want to utilize food waste as fertilizer.
           The Republic of Korea has put a lot of effort into disposing food waste and a lot of solutions are being discussed. However, using food waste as fertilizer is not appropriate in view of its ineffectiveness and its environmental impact and utilization. Moreover, if food waste is used as fuel, it will be used more than effectively than as fertilizer, which can cause many problems for crops. Therefore, food waste should be discussed in more depth. Let us see how food waste, which has been nothing but a simple waste until now, will change.
           So far, CAH has talked about using food waste as a fertilizer. Proponents emphasized that fertilizing the organic matter of food waste is the easiest way to recycle food waste. It can be easily disposed of, plus the trend worldwide is to make food waste into organic fertilizer. The other side argued that the salt in food waste could destroy the soil, it would take a lot of time and money to make fertilizer out of food waste, and it would be more fully utilized if it were instead used as fuel. Food waste is a man-made byproduct. As modern people spend more and live in a mass-produced society, the amount has inevitably increased enormously. Discussions about how to deal with the problem of food waste need to continue, and for this to happen, we need to have a rational grasp of each other's opinions.
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