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"Jeong Ho-jin dons a pair of plastic gloves to show off his most proud achievement as a district official in Seoul, South Korea, and then uses his keys to unlock a large, rectangular contraption that looks like some kind of futuristic top-loading washing machine. Loaded with bins half-filled with decomposing ginseng, lettuce and other meal remnants, this, it turns out, is South Korea's high-tech solution to food waste.
"Jeong works in one of two districts in Seoul where the high-tech food waste management program is being piloted. The program works by giving each household a card that has a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip embedded in it, containing the user's name and address. They scan their card on a small card-reader on the front of the high-tech bin to get the lid to open, then dump the food waste into the bin and onto the scale at the bottom, which gives a numerical reading of the waste's weight and disposal cost.
"... In Malmö, Sweden, we stick our food waste into frustratingly flimsy paper bags, and drop them into a plastic bin downstairs, from where they go to make the gas that powers the city's buses. Malmö uses anaerobic digestion carried out by bacteria and other methane producing organisms to produce methane gas. Each batch spends three weeks in the digester to complete the process. The resulting gas is then purified so it can be used for a fuel. Each paper bag apparently produces enough to drive a car 2.5km."