Trash is king on the streets in front of universities
Trash is king on the streets in front of universities
  • Son Min-ji
  • 승인 2008.09.16 23:59
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          Around 7:00 p.m., many Ewha students finish their classes and walk from the main gate to the Edae Subway Station to go home. Students’ eyebrows become drawn together, and they hold their noses to avoid the foul smell emanating from rotting food as they try to navigate the streets crowded with long-lined stalls. “I feel embarrassed to see undesirable sights on streets in front of my school. I am worried that some people might say bad things about the school because of this dirty street. It is also stressful and annoying for me to sheer away from the trash when I wear high-heeled shoes,” said Jung Yeon-hee (Social Studies Education, 1).     

          The City of Seoul designated the street leading from Edae Station to Ewha Womans University as an Attractive Street to visit in 2005. However, the environment of the street around the university does not match with the name due to the noise from cars, scads of promotional fliers as well as the filthy trash of some restaurants and street stalls which sell accessories and snacks. Nevertheless, this is the same for streets near other universities as well.
          The street from Sinchon Station to
Ewha Womans University is known as Myongmul Street.

The Myongmul Street was designated as an Attractive Street to walk in 1999, as a part of Seoul ’s city project named Green Way. “The purpose of this project is to ensure the safety of pedestrians. The city has planted trees and paved roads such as making two-way roads into one-way roads,” said Gwak Mun-soo, who works in the Landscape Division in Seoul Metropolitan Government. However, the one-way road is full of cars parked near the footpaths and of garbage cans which contain food waste next to trees lining a street. Also it is easy to find pieces of broken glass bottles on the way.
           “The street from Shinchon Station to
Yonsei University has been picked as one of the worst streets in Seoul in 2002. Moreover, this street is always ranked poorly when we survey the streets of worst signboards that impair people’s eyesight,” said Bang Se-hwa, who works in the Green Consumer Network. “I still cannot believe that this is the street that I always walk to go to school. I wish the environment in front of the school could be clean so that I do not smell trash and alcohol before attending classes,” said Kim Yoon-jung (Yonsei University , 2).
       The environment in front of
Hongik University is not an exception. The street in front of Hongik University was also designated as an Attractive Street in 2001. “No one probably wants to walk a street with broken asphalt and trash. Also Hongik University students do not have their own clean places as people from all areas come here to enjoy ‘the club culture’ and make the street unclean,” said Han Da-woon (Hongik University , 3).
        The Seodaemun-gu Office is exasperated by the difficulties of controlling the streets in front of Ewha and Yonsei. “Our sanitation workers in Seodaemun-gu Office start their work from
4:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, some restaurants and stall keepers discharge trash after workers’ working hours, which is totally out of our control. Also, they are supposed to put the waste in front of their area, but they put trash bags on the streets in order to make their surroundings look clean,” said Kim Dae-yong, who works at the Urban Management Department of the Seodaemun-gu Office.
       “It is difficult to dispatch workers 24 hours a day to clean the streets. If then, we have to spend more than three times of the budget that we spend now. If people maintain basic order, and store owners behave consciously, the environment around universities may be improved,” said Kim. People who visit famous streets in front of universities and students need to keep basic orders and etiquette to ensure their own safety and to make clean environment around schools.


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