Seoul Recovers Energy from 730,000 Tonnes of Waste

The city government of Seoul, South Korea produced energy worth $165 million from 730,000 tonnes of its household waste last year.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/ Mika Heittola 20 March 2012

The city government of Seoul, South Korea produced energy worth 185 billion won ($165 million) from its household waste last year - a value equivalent to the price of 1.33 million barrels of crude oil.

According to a report by the Yonhap news agency, the city government said that of the 1.1 million tonnes of combustible household waste produced in Seoul last year 730,000 tonnes was used as fuel for waste to energy facilities.

The city government claimed that the combined output from its waste to energy facilities is equivalent to the annual heating needs of 190,000 households in the city or 14% of the city's households.

"In order to save energy and the environment through heat produced from waste, we need citizens to actively cooperate in separating recyclable waste," a city official is reported to have said.

South Korea aims to become one of the world's top five green economies by generating more than 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. It currently relies on such sources for less than 2.5% of its energy needs.

According to the report South Korea is the world's fifth largest crude buyer and depends entirely on imports for its oil needs.

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