In a bid to control the nation's growing problem with food wastage, the South Korean government has started a unique initiative – "Pay as You Trash". Residents are required to separate their food waste from the rest of their trash and dump it separately in a centralised bin. And in order to access the bin, they actually need to pay by the kilo.
Even before the pay-by-weight system was introduced, South Koreans were still being charged for food waste – the cost was simply divided equally among the tenants of each apartment block. The new system is not only fair, but is also designed to make consumers really (1) feel the pinch of (A) excessive waste. The more food they (2) toss out, the more they end up paying.
And it's working – residents like Seoul housewife Ms. Kwan are now adopting innovative methods to avoid food waste. She makes sure to (B) strain all the liquid out of leftover food before throwing it away. She also separates fresh produce and other food items into smaller portions so that only the required amount of ingredients are used per meal. While prepping vegetables, she tries to make use of as much of the edible parts as possible, in an effort to minimize waste.
"People used to buy a lot of food and throw away leftovers without much care," said Yu Gwang Mo, a government official from Seoul's Mapo district. "After realising they have to pay for how much they throw, they have started to control their food purchase."
Restaurants and other food-based businesses are also actively trying to reduce their pay-by-weight disposal bill, by having their own food waste processor – a machine that converts food scraps into dried powder that can be used as fertilizer. Some restaurants are actively trying to reduce the amount of food they waste by donating leftovers to the poor and hungry.
According to official surveys, food waste in South Korea accounts for 28 percent of total waste by volume. 30 percent of this comes from leftovers, while 5 percent of the wasted food is thrown away uneaten. In smaller restaurants, leftovers account for 68 percent of all food wasted. Disposal of this kind of waste costs the government a (C) whopping 800 billion won per year. Through various initiatives such as "Pay as You Trash", the government has managed to cut food waste from 5.1 million tons in 2008 to 4.82 million tons in 2014.
1. feel the pinch 感到手头拮据；因为经济因素而感到吃紧
Consumers have felt the pinch of higher gasoline prices.
2. toss out 抛弃、丢弃
He opened the window and toss the ball out.