Garbage problem at Seoul International Fireworks Festival less serious than expected
While over 1 million people gathered to watch the Seoul International Fireworks Festival on Saturday, which was held for the first time in three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation regarding waste from the festival turned out to be not as serious as some feared.
The amount of garbage collected at the Yeouido and Ichon Hangang Parks after the festival, where onlookers were concentrated during the event, was about 50 tons, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government on Sunday — an increase by 11 percent from the 45 tons at the last event held in 2019.
Hanhwa, the organizer of the festival, estimated that some 1.05 million people gathered for the festival in Yeouido and nearby areas. Both the number of visitors and the amount of garbage disposed of had increased compared to 2019, when just around 1 million people gathered.
Although litter could be found during and after the festival, many spectators properly disposed of their garbage in bags distributed on site or in their own plastic bags. Many returning home from the event were seen carrying garbage bags in hand.
“I left late, after the festival and the park was almost empty, and when I looked around there was hardly any trash left on the grass,” said Choi, 27, who had watched the fireworks with his partner. “It was a pity that a lot of the garbage wasn’t sorted for recycling, but everyone seemed to take it upon themselves to clear their places, and the park didn’t look dirty afterwards.”
About 2,000 Hanwha employees and volunteers helped clean up the park, picking up trash until midnight on Saturday.
“The amount of garbage generated was seven times more than usual, but it was less than we expected,” said an official from the Seoul Metropolitan Government. “The garbage was easy to dispose of because most of it was gathered near the disposal areas.”
BY LIM JEONG-WON [firstname.lastname@example.org]