The Seoul Metropolitan Government said it would add more than 1,000 public trash bins to handle recyclable litter such as takeaway cups.
The city is considering placing the new type of trash bins in downtown areas starting from early next year as the growing number of coffee shops is producing a massive amount of takeaway cups, plastic lids and cans, creating an environmental problem.
The reintroduction of trash bins comes after many were removed in 1995, when South Korea adopted a volume-based garbage system and specially designated plastic bags. Around 4,400 public trash bins currently remain across the city.
Before they were cleared out due to excessive illegal dumping linked to the volume-based garbage disposal system, the streets of Seoul had 7,607 trash bins.
The city has set out to develop new mobile trash bins to prevent illegal dumping. As some people just dump their trash into public trash bins without using regulation garbage bags to save money, some shop owners and residents do not want to see public trash bins set up nearby.
The movable trash bins are designed to meet the growing demand from foreign visitors, who point out the shortage of trash bins in populated tourist areas including Myeong-dong and Insa-dong.
“Unlike when trash bins were installed only in certain places on the street, movable trash bins will be placed where people tend to litter more,” a Seoul city official said.
By Kim Da-sol, Intern reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org)