Go to contents

Unpleasant Smells Prevent Korean Drivers From Opening Car Windows On the Road

Unpleasant Smells Prevent Korean Drivers From Opening Car Windows On the Road

Posted March. 02, 2004 23:10,   


Korean American Demi Kim, 24, who has been staying in Korea as an exchange student since last year, encountered a very embarrassing situation when she went to the airport to meet one of her friends from the United States. "How could people live in such a stinking place?" the friend told Kim.

Actually, Kim also felt the same way when she first arrived in Korea in Februrary 2003. "I had a positive impression about Korea but I could not stop frowning on my way to Seoul from the airport because of awful smells," Kim said.

As illustrated above, the express highway which is often referred to as the "Gateway to Korea" has been suffering from bad smells. Unpleasant smells are not only making foreigners and citizens feel unpleasant, but also are giving bad images of Korea to foreigners.

The awful smells come from the Kimpo landfills, indudstrial waste incineration facilities at the West Incheon industrial complex, as well as a great number of many other waste dumping sites.

Observation: Near the toll gate of the North Incheon Interchange, the Incheon Airport Express Highway on February 25, 2004:

There was no traffic jam at the newly built highway. The weather was warm and the landscape of a rural village along the road is magnificent. However, no one dares to open their vehicle windows.

"On a cloudy day, the smell is so terrible that it makes me feel as if I am working in a toilet," a woman working at the toll gate said.

When the wind blows, a stench is spread all over the highway (15.8 km) from the toll gate to the Yeongjong Bridge. "Sometimes you can smell a terrible stink even if you close all the doors of your vehicle. I feel frustrated whenever people ask me where the smell is coming from," one security guard at the airport said.

"People are relentlessly posting complaints on our websites," said Hong Gi-chnag, manager of the environment management division of the Incheon International Airport.

In this regard, Park Jeong-hyeon, deputy manager of the Metropolitan Area Landfill Site Management said, "We have put a great deal of effort and have successfully made the land fills smell much less. The main cause of the problem is not us but the Industrial Waste Incineration Center in the West Incheon Industrial Complex."