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GMAC addresses industrial rubbish

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Garment workers eat lunch outside of their factory. KT/Mai Vireak

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia has asked the Environment Ministry to tackle a lack of industrial waste collection at factories in Phnom Penh.

GMAC said that members in the area have complained about the mishandling of industrial waste by Sarom Trading Company, designated by the government to collect and dispose factory waste eight times per month.

However, some factories in the area have accused the company of not doing enough to properly collect and dispose waste.

Ken Loo, GMAC secretary-general, said on Wednesday that the request was sent to Environment Minister Say Samal’s office to address the matter. Mr Loo said that the government has an obligation to find a solution.

“I wanted to inform the minister that GMAC has received reports by our members who complained about Sarom Trading Company,” he said, adding that the company has not done enough to properly dispose of waste. “This company only creates piles of waste that negatively impact surrounding factories.”

Environment Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said yesterday that the request was still being processed.

“The ministry will check upon this request,” Mr Pheaktra said.

The ministry said that last year 3.65 million tonnes of waste were produced throughout Cambodia.

Chhay Sokhim, a manager of Woorie Garments in Phnom Penh, said yesterday that his employers want a new company to handle the collection of waste.

Mr Sokhim said that Sarom Trading Company is the only company allowed to collect factory waste in the country.

“This company has not respected our factory. They haven’t collected our waste in a long time,” he said. “When I called them, they said that they’ll do it but they have never kept their promise.”

Mr Sokhim noted that Sarom Trading Company is contracted to collect industrial waste eight times per month, while in reality the company only collects three times per month as waste piles grow.

“They charge us $40 each time. We are so ashamed when we have guests because the piles are starting to smell,” he said. “Because of this, I complained to GMAC, and I want to meet the Environment Minister.”

Sarom Trading Company representatives could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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