IFEZ, Yeonsu District settle waste collection dispute

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IFEZ, Yeonsu District settle waste collection dispute

Officials from the Incheon Free Economic Zone and Yeonsu District Office settle a dispute over automated waste collection facilities in Songdo International City. [IFEZ]

Officials from the Incheon Free Economic Zone and Yeonsu District Office settle a dispute over automated waste collection facilities in Songdo International City. [IFEZ]

The Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) announced Monday that it has reached an agreement with Incheon’s Yeonsu District Office after a year-long dispute regarding automated waste collection facilities.
 
In May 2020, IFEZ and Yeonsu District Office clashed over funding the operation and upkeep of automated waste collection facilities. The dispute went to a mediation committee under the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, and both parties went through a discussion process several times to avoid the shutdown of the facility.
 
The settlement, which was proposed by the Interior Ministry, stipulates that ownership of the facility will be transferred on Dec. 31, 2022, with IFEZ bearing the cost of kerbside collection until then. After the ownership goes to Yeonsu District Office, the two parties will split the operating cost.
 
As of now there are seven automated collection facilities for municipal waste in Songdo, Incheon, with pipelines covering 53.61 kilometers (33 miles) in total.
 
The dispute dates back to 2014, when Yeonsu District Office took charge of waste management due to a law revision. IFEZ and Yeonsu District Office agreed in December 2015 that IFEZ would provide funding for five years while Yeonsu District Office takes charge of operations, yet difficulties in food waste management led to renegotiation.
 
As the agreement has been approved, IFEZ set to work on follow-up measures. IFEZ also plans to resolve a similar dispute regarding automated collection facilities at Cheongna International City, while moving forward with discussions over another facility at Yeongjong Sky City with Incheon’s Jung District Office.
 
“Both parties and the ministry worked hard not to cause any inconvenience to local residents amid the Covid-19 pandemic and reached an amicable agreement at last,” said Lee Won-jae, commissioner of the IFEZ authority. “We will strive to improve the automated collection facilities in collaboration with Yeonsu District Office and work on resolving other disputes as well.”  
 

BY SHIN HA-NEE [shin.hanee@joongang.co.kr]
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