South Korea’s plastic problem is a literal trash Uiseong, a pictu

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South Korea’s plastic problem is a literal trash Uiseong, a pictu

  ue South Korean farming county, was a backwater until homegrown heroes the Garlic Girl

s became breakout stars and curling silver medalists at last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

  In recent months the spotlight has again fallen on Uiseong for a far less glorious rea

son: a smoldering mountain of garbage which highlights the trash crisis in the densely populated nation.

  Among the rice paddies and beside the Nakdong River in the

country’s east, a horseshoe-shaped, 170,000-ton heap of trash is spontaneously combusting, spe

wing out plumes of smoke and the nose-scorching, chemical stench of burning plastic.

  On a cold February morning, six workers wearing grimy overalls a

nd gas masks clamber over the 50 feet-tall (15 meters) man-made hill, dousing the smo

ke with fire hoses. But as soon as one smoldering spot is extinguished, another flares up.

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