Will the “college kids have concept” festival trash go away this year?

“You’re supposed to throw away the garbage you create, but during festivals there’s often a lot of trash on the ground and overflowing trash cans.”

Bags of uneaten sweets, empty plastic bottles and liquor bottles. It’s a common sight on campus after the excitement of the festival has worn off.

[Ancient Culture]

When tens of thousands of university students gather together to eat and drink, there is bound to be a lot of trash. On average, more than 10,000 people a day visit Korea University’s Seoul campus, where the Seoktap Daedong Festival began on the 22nd of this month, and it is estimated that more than 50 tons of waste will be generated.

While it is good to eat and have fun, leaving traces on the streets has been pointed out as an inherent problem of university festivals, especially in last year’s festival, which was held for the first time after three years of social distancing.

However, there are growing expectations that this year’s festival will be different as environmental awareness among college students increases.

In October last year, university students were spotted voluntarily cleaning up after the festival as the issue of festival trash was frequently raised. [Korea University Everytime]

It’s 1 p.m. on the 25th, right in the middle of Daedong Festival. Despite the intense sun, students were sitting around the plaza eating lunch.

It’s safe to say that the cups, bottles, and utensils in their hands are disposable. The food is mostly from food trucks that have set up shop on campus for the festival. Sushi and fried noodles are served in paper cups or boxes and eaten with wooden chopsticks메이저놀이터. There were also students holding clear plastic cups as hangover remedies and drinks.

Students eating lunch at Korea University’s Seoul campus on the afternoon of the 25th. By Jae-hyun Lee

But the place they left was clean. What stood out instead was the giant recycling bin next to the food truck. It’s a “zero station” installed by waste collection company Upbox.

The bin, which is much taller than an adult, is categorized into waste paper, glass bottles and cans, PET bottles, plastic, and general waste. It was a far cry from the previous festival scene, where leftover food, general garbage, and alcohol bottles were mixed together.

University students using the large recycling bins. By JUHYUN JUNG

It was 1 p.m., right after lunch. Within 30 minutes, dozens of students had separated their trash here. They brought crushed water bottles and bagged disposable dishes. Some splashed leftover drinks into their mouths or turned cups upside down to check the material.

“It’s natural to throw away your own trash, but during festivals, there’s a lot of trash on the ground and the trash cans are overflowing,” said Cheol Eun, a 21-year-old student. “I think it’s easier to throw away and better managed, and it also makes people more aware.”

An environmental booth at the Seoktop Daedong Festival held at Korea University’s Seoul campus on the afternoon of the 25th. Reporter Jang Jae-hyun

Next to the recycling bins, there were booths encouraging people to recycle plastics and experience multi-use cups.

“Up to 80 tons of waste is expected to be generated during the festival,” said the Korea University Stone Pagoda Daedong Festival Organizing Committee, “and up to 60 percent of recyclables can be recycled through the zero station, resulting in a carbon reduction of 108 tons.”

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