Public golf course built on Sudokwon Landfill site used by 160,000 Korean citizens annually

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Asian journalists visited Sudokwon Landfill, Incheon, Korea recently.

Sudokwon Landfill situated 35km. east of Incheon International Airport is the world’s largest landfill built on a reclaimed land that filled the sea occupying an area of 16 million square meters (1600 ha) and is equal to the size of 2,300 soccer fields.

Located in Geowol-ro, Seo-gu, Incheon, Republic of Korea, the Sudokwon Landfill becomes a place where wastes from Seoul, Gyeonggi and Incheon metropolitan areas have been brought in and buried.

There are three landfill sites in the Sudokwon Landfill in which landfill sites 1 and 2 have been completed while reclamation is currently in progress at the third landfill site.

The first landfill with a total of 64 million tons of waste buried there was used from February 1992 till October 2000 and is now closed.

Currently the upper part of Landfill Site 1 has been opened as a public golf course called Dream Park CC since October 2013 and is used by 160,000 citizens annually.

The Sudokwon Landfill Management Corporation is an agency under the Ministry of Environment and approximately 5,500 tons of wastes are brought in per day by about 350 waste vehicles.

According to the Public Relation Specialist, Hong Seung Hee, in 1992, when the first land filling began, about 40,000 tons were brought in per day but the amount has plummeted to 15,000 tons in 2014, 10 years ago and 5,500 tons per day as of 2023.

“The reason for the decrease is the amount of waste brought in is the state led waste reduction policy,” Seung Hee told 15 journalists from nine Asian countries representing the Asia Journalist Association (AJA) who were invited for an educational tour to Sudokwon Landfill on April 26, 2024.

She said, the landfill site 1 where reclamation has been completed is sinking as buried waste decays. Currently, the total height has subsided by about 7.2m and stabililization is progressing and the landfill is sinking at the average of 2.4cm per year.

“The golf course in Landfill Site 1 had been used for the 2014 Asian Games where golf matches and the US Women’s Open Championship were held. It was also selected as the best eco-friendly golf course in Korea,” she said.

Meanwhile, profits generated from the golf course are being reinvested in the region through discussions with the local residents.
While trash rots, landfill gas and leachate are generated. As this has occurred since more than 20 years after landfilling is completed, landfill gas and leachate are still generated even at the first landfill site where landfilling ended in 2000.

Referring to the booklet on the details of Sudokwon Landfill, an average of 4,900 tons of leachate is generated per day in landsfills 1,2 and 3. The leachate is transported to the leachate treatment plant through pipes installed on the floor and is discharged into the West Sea after a two week purification process.

As regulation on ocean discharge of waste are being strengthened, food wastewater (waste water generated during the food waste treatment process) that was dumped in the ocean is being treated together with leachate at a rate of 650 tons per day.

Using the gas from this food wastewater a 2.4MW power plant was operated to produce electricity, generating 19 billion won ($14,621,000) in electricity sales revenue to date.

In another development, a 50MW power generation facility that produces electricity using landfill gas was completed in December 2006 and full scale commercial operation began in March 2007.

The power plant has a daily power generation of 675MWh, generating 90.99 million won (approximately $70,000) in electricity sales revenue per day and the accumulative sales of 555 million won ($424,215,000).

Over the past 10 years, landfill gas power generation has reduced carbon emissions equivalent to the amount emitted by 3.4 million passenger cars in one year.
Sudokwon Landfill not only carries out sanitary landfill work but also carries out projects to turn waste into resources.

About 4 billion won ($3,057,000) per year is saved by turning sewage sludge that was discarded to the sea into organic dry fuel and supplying it to thermal power plants etc and using biogas generated from food wastewater as fuel for sewage sludge resource recovery facilities.

In the landfill complex, there is a nursery green house that produces plants to be used in turning the Sudokwon Landfill into a Dream Park.

The greenhouse uses gas generated from food wastewater as a heat source, and hosts spring and fall flower festivals for citizens by displaying plants grown there. It has also managed to create jobs by employing 1,700 local residents annually.

At the Sudokwon Landfill, there is a cherry tree road about 2km long and wild flower complex measuring 630,000 square meters. This site was a place where briquette ash was stored in the past.

The wild flower complex is equipped with a swimming pool and dog park for citizens to use and 240,000 citizens have used this park in 2023.

On the question of the ecosystem or technology used in Sudokwon Landfill, Young-Min Kim, Vice-President of Strategic Business Division, EcoBio Holdings Co. Ltd, the company that runs the dumpsite said: “The local Korean technology is used to run and administer the Sudokwon Landfill.” – Malaysia World News




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