Seoul City promised massive infrastructure investment as an incentive for Incheon to allow the capital to continue to use landfills inside the port city.
The two municipal governments signed an agreement Monday under which Seoul would inject 120.5 billion won ($95.5 million) by 2016 in improving a road and the environment surrounding the waste management facilities.
Two outdoor garbage dumps in Incheon have served Seoul, one already full and the other to be closed in 2016.
Seoul is asking Incheon to extend operations and build another, but the city is adamant against the request citing pollution and degradation of quality of life.
According to a survey with Incheon citizens last June, more than half of the respondents wanted the landfill to be closed.
The agreed investment falls far short of resolving the dispute but Seoul officials expect it would pave the way for fruitful talks down the road.
On Monday, the two sides also agreed to resume operations of their task force charged with negotiating the landfill issue. The team was formed in 2011 but has been inactive in June 2012.
Seoul’s investment focuses on improving Dream Park Road, a 13.6-kilometer-long, four-lane road leading to the landfills.
Seoul promised to invest back the full site compensation received from Incheon’s waterway business.
The road was built in 1992 to transport Seoul waste to the landfill. It is owned by the Seoul government and managed by Incheon and Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province.
Since April, Incheon has repeatedly called for Seoul’s huge investment in facility improvement, construction of a green tract and underground junction.
By Lee Hyun-jeong (firstname.lastname@example.org