Spotlight: South Korea
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Spotlight: South Korea

Translate iFixit into South Korean!

안녕하세요! We started iFixit to teach everyone how to fix everything. It’s a lofty goal, but we’re slowly building an army of fixers around the world in order to achieve it. We currently support English, German, French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch, and now we’re pleased to announce Korean! Starting now, you can translate our guides and wikis into Korean. 

Our decision to add Korean wasn’t a coincidence. Recycling is an important part of South Korea’s culture and economy. South Korea is a tiny country which boasts an average mobile internet speed of 104.81Mbps and manufactures some of the most popular electronic devices. Fast internet combined with high-tech devices makes it too easy to discard and replace unwanted, outdated or broken devices. But, South Korea does good work on waste management and has a way of putting nearly everything their citizens consume back into the circular economy. The reality is, that until every thing can be 100% recycled, harmful activities from mining raw materials will pose a threat to the planet and our quality of life.

Compared to other countries, recycling in South Korea has strict mandatory regulations and policies. Improper disposal can lead to government issued warnings or monetary fines. Food waste such as fruit/vegetable skins, uncooked or raw meat, and even raw eggs are gathered so that farmers and gardeners can reuse them for food production. South Koreans have a common expression: if a pig can eat it, then it can’t be food waste. In Korea, eggshells, crab/shrimp/clamshells, bones, and inedible fruit and vegetables are considered general waste. General waste such as sanitary materials, pillows, old shoes, blankets, clothes, and common small objects are incinerated or buried. Recycled items like juice/milk cartons, glass bottles, aluminum cans, plastic containers/bottles (PET), paper, and vinyl are all reused or sold as raw materials for new products. In addition to reducing waste, this system also generates revenue for the South Korean government and creates new job opportunities. 

The Korean Ministry of Environment partners with the Korean Electronics Recycling Cooperative (KERC), which was established to facilitate the effective recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). They now offer nationwide free collection services and also operate the national recycling centers.

So now that you know a little about how our decision was made. We’re throwing a (good) wrench into the mix by adding one more tool in the Korean effort to reduce waste.


Repairing items is an exceptional approach to combat waste and decrease the quantity of non-recyclable materials. Fixing something rather than disposing of it and buying a new one can save you money and benefit the environment in the long run. 

Recycling bins at Haeundae Beach, Busan, South Korea
 Image from: Wikimedia Commons | License details

Some folks in South Korea have already caught on to how beneficial repair can be to reducing waste. Friends of the Earth’s headquarters in Seoul are doing some amazing work through grassroots efforts promoting environmental sustainability and the right to self-repair. It’s really encouraging to see individuals and non-profit organizations take steps in the right direction. In December 2022, the ′′Circular Economy Society Conversion Promotion Act, ′, including the right to repair, passed the National Assembly plenary session. Once the work plans are put into practice, this act will help prevent premature disposal and promote sustainable use and repair of products, thus bringing us one step closer towards fixing every thing. Thank you Friend’s of the Earth for the effort in getting this passed!

Korean iFixit Manifesto

Repair is everywhere

If it can be made, chances are one day it will need fixing. And by adding Korean to our list of supported languages we are confident that it’ll become even easier for South Koreans to fix their stuff.

Translating repair guides and wikis into Korean is crucial to our mission. Translation means understanding the message, understanding the people whose language you are translating it into, and recreating the message in that language to bridge the information gap. Therefore, we hope that you’ll bring your translation skill to bear. If you’ve always dreamed of earning our badges for “언어학자”,  “탐험가” or “서기”, then your moment has come!

Community members will acknowledge your effort by liking your translated guides. But the greatest reward will be when your translated guide helps someone successfully complete a repair. When they click on  작성자에게 +30점 주기! , you’ll know for sure you’ve helped someone fix their device and keep it out of a landfill! 

Happy Translating!