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Waste Management
Volume 122, 2021, Pages 71-80

Assessment of food waste generation and composition among Korean households using novel sampling and statistical approaches

Bashir Adeloduna,b, Sang Hyun Kima, Kyung-Sook Choia,c

Department of Agricultural Civil Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Republic of Korea.


Food waste management in Korea has become increasingly important as the country continues to champion the transition into a circular economy among the OECD countries to achieve sustainable development target goals. However, reliable primary data on food waste quantity and composition to achieve its prevention and managementtargets by understanding food waste patterns among Korean households is poorly documented. This study investigates the quantity and composition of food waste generation rates among the sampled households by considering two important influencing factors of seasonality and housing types in the Buk-gu province of Daegu, South Korea. The food waste generation rates from three different housing types during four representative seasons were assessed, considering the availability of different food types at different seasons. The identified 46 food waste items from sampled data were statistically analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis statistical test. The results showed that food waste generation rates were 0.88 ± 0.37 kg/household/day (0.26 ± 0.11 kg/capita/day), which varied seasonally. Significant seasonal variations (P < 0.002) in food waste generated from the selected housing types were shown by K–W mean rank analysis. The food waste generation rate followed the seasonal order of summer > autumn > winter > spring. The effect of housing type was also a pivotal factor affecting the food waste generation. This study adds to the ground-level insights of food waste generation trends in different seasons and housing types of Korea.

Keywords: Household food waste, Food waste composition, Direct measurement, Food waste generation rate.

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