Seoul Urban Solutions Agency




To meet the growing demand for a better waste disposal system, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has committed to providing innovative cleaning services and coming up with a waste disposal system, which can satisfy sanitation workers and the general public, The SMG is dedicated to managing waste to achieve a 71% recycling rate and 30% reduction in food waste, and to minimize landfill waste by 2020.

Waste Management Hierarchy

In the 1990’s, the city of Seoul adopted and improved the national policy on solid waste management. The focus of waste management policy centered on the following :

  1. Waste reduction at source
  2. Utilization of waste (recovery of material and stored energy)
  • 1990: Recycling started
  • 1995: Fees for waste system introduced to charge waste by volume
  • 1998: Utilization of food waste began

From maximum treatment to minimum waste

Seoul adopted volume-based waste disposal system, which increased amount of recycles and significantly reduced the amount of landfill.

Volume –based Waste Fee System

From Maximum Treatment to Minimum Waste

Waste as Resource : Yielding Economic + Environmental Benefits

Number of resource recovery centers in Seoul
+ 1 landfill site for the Metro area
Worth of electricity generated to provide for
43,000 residents by burning landfill gas
Decreased due to CDM technology and
generating eco-friendly energy


Status of Recovery Facilities in Seoul

Currently, Seoul operates four resource recovery centers (incinerators) within its city boundary and utilizes one landfill located outside Seoul and is shared by the Seoul metropolitan area.



Learn more

Seoul Solution: Waste Management

Waste Management Brochure