Press Briefing on ‘Action Plan on Household Waste Burial’
Date December 4th, 2014 | Venue Briefing Room, Seoul City Hall
I am here to tell you about the landfill site in the metropolitan area. First, I would like to extend my sincere apology and gratitude to Incheon citizens. I am well aware that Incheon citizens have been suffering from odors, pollution, road deterioration, and traffic congestion for over 20 years. There has been a great discomfort caused by the metropolitan landfill site. I apologize again. The Seoul Metropolitan Government and citizens share this feeling.
In response, the Seoul Government has been making efforts towards improving the volume-rate garbage disposal system, the recycling of food waste, and resource recovery facilities. As a result, the amount of carry-in has decreased by about 94% since 1992. Currently, the metropolitan landfill site is essential infrastructure for 25 million metropolitan residents, and alternatives are few and far between. Yesterday, Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok clarified his position on the landfill site to overcome this situation, and Seoul listened attentively. Now, Seoul will actively cooperate and discuss with the mayor in an ownership transfer and offer practical support in the neighboring areas. The mayor suggested a council consisting of the mayors of Seoul and Incheon, the governor of Gyeong-gi Province, and the Minister of Environment, and we have all agreed to this proposal. Seoul will actively participate and cooperate in the council.
We must share our urgency in resolving the issue of the metropolitan landfill site with the Incheon city government and citizens. No matter how hard and deep the conflict is I believe that it can be resolved if we open our minds to each other and put our heads together.
Seoul has made a promise to Incheon City and its citizens. I will keep our promise from now on. And I will give you another promise. Seoul will decrease the amount of waste it produces by 20% by 2016 and achieve zero burial of household waste by 2017. Moreover, we will implement even more active environment-friendly management of the site: creating vegetation belts around the landfill site, hermetically sealing transport vehicles, and changing their routes. We will take every measure to minimize dust, odor, and everything else that Incheon citizens have been suffering from.
Seoul will seek resolution with Incheon City and citizens, the Ministry of Environment, and Gyeong-gi Province. We will actively participate in every conversation and consultation. In the process, we will above all contemplate ways to increase cohesion among all residents. To do so we will look at the problem from the perspective of Incheon City and citizens. Thank you very much.