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Waste production continues to rise

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Phnom Penh produces about 3,000 tonnes per day, followed by Sihanoukville with 600 tonnes and Siem Reap city with 350. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Ministries of Environment and Tourism have reiterated calls for factories, restaurants and markets to properly handle waste disposal as the amount produced in the Kingdom continues to grow.

Neth Pheaktra, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Environment, said yesterday that the amount of garbage produced in the country has skyrocketed, at a rate of about ten percent growth each year due to population growth, changes in lifestyle and packaging, and a lack of understanding on how to sort waste.

“All stakeholders, including citizens, please cooperate in the management of solid waste and garbage produced by factories, enterprises, facilities, companies, restaurants, businesses, services, markets, houses and public places in order to keep the environment clean and to improve public welfare,” Mr Pheaktra said.

The government says the Kingdom’s waste production has grown by about ten percent annually. KT/Chor Sokunthea

In 2017, the amount of garbage and solid waste was estimated at about 3.65 million tonnes, or more than 10,000 tonnes per day.

Phnom Penh produced most of the trash with about 3,000 tonnes per day, Mr Pheaktra said, noting that Sihanoukville was next with about 600 to 650 tonnes per day followed by Siem Reap city with about 350 to 400 tonnes per day.

He said that about 1.5 million tonnes of waste, or 41 percent of total waste, collected annually was sent to dumpsites, while about 400,000 tonnes, or about 11 percent, was recycled. The remaining 48 percent was burned or thrown away into water bodies.

Mr Pheaktra said that solid waste management in cities across the Kingdom has improved, but has not yet reached a high standard.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon said on World Tourism Day on Monday that good sanitation in restaurants, canteens and resorts required participation from all business owners, people, relevant ministries and institutions.

“Cleanliness and greenery are very attractive to tourists and Cambodia should be able to do it,” Mr Khon said.

He said that starting next year, Cambodia will stop all activities of throwing rubbish or tissue paper under tables in all restaurants and resorts across the country.

Facebook users in recent days have criticised waste management because waste was seen in some places in Sihanoukville and in other public places in Phnom Penh.

Commenting on a 30-second video clip of rubbish flowing in the rain, Facebook user Vanny Seven said on Tuesday that Sihanoukville’s Buon commune was strewn with rubbish after the downpour.

“The view before the rainfall in Sihanoukville was beautiful, but now it becomes a pearl city littered with rubbish everywhere,” Mr Vanny said.

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