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Seoul moves to stop foul food waste odors at G20 summit

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Published : 2010-11-04 19:47
Updated : 2010-11-04 19:47

While some 30 heads of state and global institutions dine on the finest cuisine during the G20 Seoul Summit next week, others in the city may have to wallow in their own food waste.

Residents in Seoul’s Seodaemun Ward in the city’s west are baffled by their local authorities’ latest move to please the visiting VIPs. They say officials will halt operations at a waste processing facility from Nov. 10-12 for fear that the stench of food waste could tarnish the country’s image. The facility is located in an area through which the global leaders will be passing en route from Incheon International Airport to the capital.

“I don’t understand the link between the G20 and food waste. I wonder if it means that we shouldn’t even cook during the conference period,” said a local of Seodaemun Ward.
A poster put up by the Seodaemun Ward office to request that residents refrain from taking out their garbage during the G20 summit (Yonhap News)

Local authorities have put up posters requesting the residents to refrain from taking out their food garbage as much as possible, aiming to minimize the amount of trash collected.

“(This type of measure) dates back to the 1960s and 70s, forcing people to bear unreasonable discomfort. It may downgrade the country’s stature,” said an official of a civic group.

“There is some truth in the (reasons for the) public’s objections,” said a Seodaemun Ward official. “But (we thought) there would be no problems as it’s about enduring temporary inconveniences.”

Also ahead of the Nov. 11-12 summit, the Seoul Metropolitan Government this week launched a large-scale cleaning spree, involving more than 50,000 citizens and public officials. Divided into two stages, the project aims to first clean all roadside facilities throughout the city and then keep up their appearance until two days after the summit. (Yonhap News)

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