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Sci Total Environ. 2007 Nov 15;387(1-3):42-53. Epub 2007 Aug 29.

Evaluation of environmental burdens caused by changes of food waste management systems in Seoul, Korea.

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Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Seoul, 90 Jeonnong, Dongdaemun, Seoul, Korea.


During the last decade, there have been remarkable changes in food waste management in Korea following a ban on direct landfilling. To evaluate the environmental impacts of food waste management systems, we examined individual treatment systems with the LCA approach -- landfill, incineration, composting, and feed manufacturing -- and estimated the change from 1997 to 2005. The efficient system was different in each impact category, but it was evaluated that landfill is the main contributor to human toxicity and global warming (based on fossil CO(2)). In contrast, due to the increase of food waste recycling, acidification, eutrophication, and fresh water aquatic ecotoxicity impact was increased. Especially, the high energy consumption and generated residue in recycling systems caused the large burdens in toxicity categories.

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