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  • Seoul Announces “Zero” Landfilling of Garbage up to 2017

  • SMG 4889

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced its plan for “Zero Landfilling of Garbage up to 2017” to fundamentally resolve the horrible odor and seeping wastewater issues that have been causing problems for not only the environment but for the residents of the areas near landfills. The project focuses on Seoul citizens personally reducing their garbage output through changes in lifestyle at home, school, and work, minimizing the waste of recyclable resources, and reforming the waste treatment process.

    For Reduction Innovation, 25 districts will carry out a number of multifaceted projects to reduce municipal solid waste by 600 tons per day by 2016.

    To accomplish this, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will implement the “Public Treatment Waste Management System by District” in January 2015, where each district will be given a target waste reduction amount. Districts that meet the target will be exempted from paying waste treatment fees while districts that do not meet the target will have to pay over twice as much.

    The city government will also work with large-scale convenience stores to reduce 90 percent of municipal waste by preventing the waste of recyclable items, such as paper, plastic, vinyl, and glass. Through this plan, about 20,000 places, including hotels, distribution centers, and other businesses, with floor spaces of over 1000 m2 that produce a huge amount of waste, will be required to separate their trash and recyclables.

    Korea Environment Corporation Report on Types of Waste (2012-2013) (Unit : %)

    TotalPaperVinylPlasticFood WasteRubber
    Other FlammablesNonflammables
    (Bottles, cans)

    Since it is difficult to build new resource recovery facilities, fundamental innovation will focus on expanding the incineration capacity of the existing facilities by 2017 (to 150 tons per day), sharing the facilities with other local governments (250 tons per day), and installing facilities to sort flammable waste (300 tons per day).

    Citizen participatory cultural innovation will be led by the “Citizen’s Campaign Headquarters to Reduce Waste,” which will be established in December 2014. The headquarters will be composed of representatives from all areas, including civil organizations, occupation associations, religious organizations, academic institutions, and the media, as well as ordinary citizens.

    “It is realistically difficult to find facilities that can replace the landfills in Seoul, which is a necessary infrastructure for the 2.5 million residents of the Seoul Metropolitan Area,” said Mayor Park. “We will do our best to reduce waste and expand the existing processing systems and work with the 25 districts and Seoul citizens to realize zero landfilling of municipal waste. We will focus on eco-friendly management of the landfills as well.”

    Current Status

    1. Waste Production and Treatment (as of the end of Dec 2012)

    ♣ Amount of Waste

    • Total amount of waste produced per day is 37,843 tons, of which 9,189 tons are municipal solid waste, making up 24 percent of the total waste

    (Unit: t/day)

    CategoryTotalMunicipal Solid WasteIndustrial WasteConstruction
    Waste Quantity (%)37,8439,189(24%)1,924(5%)26,730(71%)

    • Municipal solid waste has been decreasing continuously. The amount of waste produced by an individual is also declining.

    (Unit: t,kg/day)

    Waste produced per day11,44611,33710,0209,4409,189
    Waste produced per person11.11.090.950.90.88

    ♣ Treatment

    • Municipal solid waste is recycled (65%), incinerated (27%), dumped in landfills (8%).

    (Unit: ton/day (%))

    Waste QuantityDisposed using volume-rate disposal bagRecycled

    2 Treatment Facilities

    • Landfill: License period 1992-2016, currently 55% full.

    (If Landfill Sites 3 and 4 are available, landfills can be used until after 2044)

    CategoryTotalLandfill Site 1Landfill Site 2Landfill Site 3Landfill Site 4Others
    Landfill Site Area
    Landfill Area
    Landfill Waste
    (10,000 tons)
    PeriodFeb 1992-Feb 1992-
    Oct 2000
    Oct 2000
    Dec 2016
    Capacity reached55%100%85%0%0% 

    • Resource Recovery Facility: Four facilities, 2,850 tons/day.


    First Date
    of Operation
    (KRW million
    Sharing Districts
    Total2,850 2,4468657,787Total 22 districts
    Mar 1996339859,830Yangcheon, Gangseo,
    Ap 19976388014,577Nowon, Jungnang,
    Seongbuk, Gangbuk,
    Dobong, Dongdaemun
    Jan 20028269220,900Gangnam, Seongdong,
    Gwangjin, Dongjak, Seocho,
    Songpa, Gangdong, Gwanak
    June 20056438612,480Mapo, Jung, Yongsang,
    Jongno, Seodaemun

    ※ Guro-gu and Eunpyeong-gu use the facilities in Gwangmyeong and Eunpyeong New Town. Geumcheon-gu does not use the facilities.

    • Food Waste Treatment Facilities: Five facilities, 1,360 tons/day.

    (Unit: ton/day)

    TypeTreatment CapacityUsed Districts
    Gangdong (Godeok-dong)Animal feed360Gangdong, Gangnam, Gwangjin,
    Dongjak, Seongdong, Eunpyeong,
    Dobong (Dobong-dong)Animal feed150Dobong
    松坡(長旨洞)Animal feed450Jung-gu, Songpa, Dongjak, Seongdong, Gangnam, Yangcheon
    (In Nanji Sewage Treatment
    Fertilizer300Jongno, Seodaemun, Eunpyeong, Mapo
    Dongdaemun (Yongdu-dong)Energy100Dongdaemun

    ※ Private Facilities (Gyeonggi․Chungcheong Provinces): 32 facilities, approx. 2,000 tons/day.

    Main Projects of the “Zero Landfilling of Garbage until 2017” Program

    CategoryProjectsMajor Goals
    Establishment of the “Citizen’s Campaign Headquarters to Reduce Waste” (expected to be created in Dec 2014).
    of 600 tons
    Public Treatment Facility
    Waste Quantity Management System
    Reduce 600 tons/day by 2016.
    Recycling Station-983 stations in 56 neighborhoods in 2014 →
    9,100 stations in 370 neighborhoods by 2018.
    Reinforcement of Separation
    of Trash at Mass Disposal Facilities
    – Manage plans for waste reduction, increase to 18,287
    facilities by 2018.
    Recycling Scraps of Sewn Fabric– Establish fabric scrap collection system, work with textile industry.
    Strengthening of Separating
    Recyclable Resources
    -Establish preliminary screening system for volume
    -rate disposal bags used in public facilities and convenience
    stores open for 24 hours.
    Increasing Recycling in Public Offices-Expand to 1,400 public offices and also to private offices.
    Recycling More Electronic Waste-Procure public collecting site for large electronic waste,
    increase electronic waste collection rate from apartments
    and private companies.
    Reducing Excessive Packaging and the
    Use of Disposable Products
    -Inspect 97 excessive packaging facilities and 149,066
    facilities using disposable products.
    Improving the Proxy System
    and Imposing Fines by Volume-Rate
    -Independent profit system → merit system,
    free competition system.
    Stricter Prevention of Violations
    Regarding the Volume-Rate Disposal System
    -Implement special accountant ordinances to prevent
    illegal waste disposal in districts.
    Reducing Food Waste-Installing RFID waste bins at apartment complexes,
    diversification of reduction methods.
    Expansion of Public Food Waste
    Treatment Facilities
    -Expansion of public treatment facilities: two new,
    two expansions.
    Improvement of 700
    tons of treatment
    Promoting Resource Recovery
    Facilities Performance Improvement
    -Improve performance of Resource Recovery
    Facilities in Mapo and Gangnam to handle 150 tons per day.
    Sharing Resource Recovery
    Facilities among Districts
    in the Seoul Metropolitan Area
    – Shared use of Resource Recovery Facilities in Icheon,
    Yangju, Paju to handle 250 tons per day.
    Sorting and Reducing the Amount
    of Waste to be Incinerated
    -Set up facilities to handle 300
    tons per day at the Gangnam Resource Recovery
    Recycling Flammable Waste -Develop applicable technologies
    through international technology contests, etc.
    Development of
    Citizen Participatory
    Increase Recycling on
    Green Campus
    – 200 schools by 2016, 1,000 schools by 2018.
    Creating Zero-Waste Village– Create over 25 villages by 2016.
    Foster Future Leaders to
    Promote Recycling Culture
    – Work with about 24,000 Energy
    guardian angels from 557 schools.
    Improve Food Culture in Restaurants– “Just Enough Amount” Campaign for restaurants.
    Reduce Waste, Promote Recycling– Citizen participatory campaign,
    create symbolic images and slogans.
    “Foster Resource Cycle Leaders,

    the “Zero-Waste Culture Ambassadors”
    -Foster 4,000 people by 2018.