As Pchum Ben approaches, the Environment Ministry has reminded the public that rubbish should properly be packed and disposed in order to protect the environment, safeguard public hygiene and make life easier for rubbish collectors.
Neth Pheaktra, an Environment Ministry secretary of state, said during a discussion organised by Khmer Times that gatherings during the holiday tend to leave behind massive amounts of waste littered on streets.
Mr Pheaktra said all stakeholders, including the public, should work together to dispose of rubbish properly to maintain the beauty of the environment.
“The Environment Ministry would like to request everyone who produces waste to manage disposal efficiently,” he said. “Please pack it up and put it in designated waste piles. Do not place the waste in public spaces or at pagodas.”
Mr Pheaktra said capital and provincial authorities should increase the number of bins and collection.
“The important thing is to participate together to clean up the environment, we have the responsibility and obligation to clean our planet,” he said. “If we don’t pay attention to the environment, we risk destroying ourselves. We are burning our own money because we use money for medical treatments if we get sick [from the lack of hygiene].”
Khrouch Ly, a Siem Reap province resident, said the ministry must properly manage holiday rubbish and that the public should avoid disposing rubbish in public places such as pagodas.
“Hygiene brings health. It may seem like a small matter, but this is an issue reflective of knowledge,” Mr Ly said. “Bad habits have affected the reputation, dignity and beauty of the country. They can even worsen tourism, which the country relies upon.”
Public Pchum Ben celebrations are expected to take place from Monday to Wednesday.
Waste collection company Cintri said rubbish collectors will be on holiday for the three days.
Cintri director Seng Savy said volunteers are ready to clean up streets and collect waste in Phnom Penh.
However, regular rubbish collection services in Phnom Penh will face disruptions from Sunday to Friday, he noted.