Residents of Siem Reap province’s Prasat Bakong district on Saturday asked authorities to stop a waste management company from dumping garbage near their village.
Long Mon, a resident of Trapaing Thom commune, said that GAEA has had the licence to put garbage from Siem Reap town into the dump in Trapiang Thom commune for nearly 10 years but had recently dumped the garbage near villagers’ homes.
“Before the company put garbage in our commune but it was far – about 400 to 500 metres from villagers’ homes,” the 40-year-old said.
“But lately, the company has been putting it near the villagers’ homes and it stinks. The garbage is near us when we come out the front door.”
Sok Chet, CEO of GAEA, said the company was putting garbage in a new trash pit near the villagers’ homes.
“The old trash pit is full now. The company is discussing with authorities to find a new place that does not affect the villagers,” he said.
Commune chief Soy Seyha said authorities, led by deputy provincial governor Tea Seyha, had given the company six months to find a new location.
“The company has six months to find a new place. It’s difficult for them to find a new place because the amount of trash in Siem Reap town increases daily,” he said.
On February 26, more than 100 villagers from Trapaing Thom commune demanded the refuse company stop dumping trash in their village, saying it affected their health.
In September, villagers from the commune had another dispute with GAEA for not allowing them to enter the garbage dump to pick through it for recyclables.
The company banned villagers from entering over fear for their health and safety, saying it would be digging 12 metres down to bury the rubbish.