Kicker: An unusual controversy

NICK EICHER, HOST: A mayor in coastal South Korea sparked a rather unusual controversy. Now, in using these two words—unusual controversy—to describe what happened, in a way I’m robbing the words of meaning. 

But bear with me.

The whole thing started last month: International Coastal Cleanup Day. The event called on people to spend part of the day cleaning up trash along shorelines so the garbage doesn’t wind up in the water. 

And plenty of volunteers were happy to help out. So far, so good.

Here’s the problem: The beaches of Jindo County are pristine. There’s no garbage. 

So here’s what Mayor Lee Dong-jin thought would be a good idea. He didn’t to waste the time the good folks had volunteered, so he decided to dump trash on the clean beaches.

Literally purchased one ton of trash and hired people to spread it around. So the volunteers could pick it up. 

Now. When they found out what the mayor had done, they weren’t very happy.

His office apologized for the trouble and said the event was meant to “raise awareness about the seriousness of coastal waste.”

Okay. Alright. Hang on. Nothing says coastal waste seriousness like dumping a bunch of trash on a clean beach!

Your tax dollars. At work!

It’s The World and Everything in It.


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