An island in Ongjin-gun county, Incheon, is being mentioned as a strong candidate for the next landfill to take waste from Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.
The usage of the Sudoggwon Landfill, which is located across Seogu district, Incheon, and Yangchon-myeon district, Gimpo, expires in December 2016. Incheon City, under its new governor, is initiating the move to unveil the next site, and city officials said in a statement that the single preferred candidate will be picked in September.
Some environment advocates pick Yeongheungdo Island in Ongjin-gun county as the strongest candidate, while others include Muuido-Silmido islands in Jung-gu district, Incheon, and Modo-Sido-Sindo islands in Ongjin-gun county, Incheon.
Out of the three candidates, Yeongheungdo Island has already undergone assessment by city authorities over a variety of circumstances.
“It would take about one year for other places to pass through administrative approval procedures. In contrast, there is only a last-minute process for Yeongheungdo Island,” said an environmental protection association spokesman.
Further, Incheon City has been accelerating the move to select the next landfill after Incheon Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok took office on July 1.
Incheon City officials also stressed that it was urgent for the city to embark on construction of the next landfill as soon as possible to see a smooth transition from the Sudoggwon Landfill to the next waste management facility.
The city has been in active consultations with central and municipal lawmakers as well as the Ministry of Environment. It is also poised to placate environment advocates and residents in Ongjin-gun and Jung-gu districts.
Should Yeongheungdo Island be picked as the preferred location, another issue is how should city officials soothe its residents, as there have already been disputes over thermal power plants, which were recently built in the region.
Some Incheon citizens have continued to criticize the city government for dumping waste from the Seoul metropolitan area by fostering reclaimed lands on the seas in Incheon.
Currently, Seoul takes up to 44 percent of its waste to the Sudoggwon Landfill, followed by Gyeonggi Province with 39 percent and Incheon with 17 percent.
The Sudoggwon Landfill opened in 1992 to replace the Nanjido Landfill in western Seoul.
Meanwhile, some pundits issued the possibility that the expiration date of the Sudoggwon Landfill will be extended.
They predict that some areas of the waste management facility will still be available after 2016.
By Kim Yon-se (firstname.lastname@example.org)