The digital future of recycling

Som Kanika / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Robert Hor. Supplied

The waste and recycling industry is moving rapidly since the last decade, and it is on the verge of digital transformation. In fact, last month, COMPED, Wapatoa and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia jointly conducted a conference that focused on combating Cambodia’s waste problem by using modern technology.

Robert Hor, programme manager for digitalisation of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Cambodia shared on his presentation and documentary at Meta House on November 30 the status of waste management and recycling in Cambodia, as well as the result of the projects his organisation has done over the years and the future projects it will be undertaking.

In the presentation, Mr Hor raised the idea of digitalisation as an effective way to combat waste problems in Cambodia. He emphasised that the plastic issue in the nation can be easily solved using modern technology and of course, with the cooperation of every citizen.

“The digital transformation is a great tool that you can observe from other counties like Germany, Thailand and Singapore. They have been using technology in every sector to serve the people of their state better, and they also have been using technology to contribute in the waste management.”

In developing countries, the problem of waste management is not different from the developed ones, he added. It is the most common problem all governments are facing.

“Even though Cambodia is a small country and still in a developing stage, its problems in terms of the environment is the same with the rest of the world. We, as human beings, are totally aware of this,” Mr Hor said.

“But are we doing something to contribute to the solution? Like in agriculture, if you know how to recycle or reinvent the wastes into something useful, this will benefit the country as a whole.”

Mr Hor strongly believes that this issue will work out in Cambodia, thanks to the increasing potential of human resources in Cambodia.

During the event, several people took interest on the process of digitalising the process of recycling plastic. Supplied

“I really believe that this idea is going to work out even though Cambodia is still a developing country. In this era of technology, everyone can have access to smartphone. Most of the people know how to use internet, and even use GPS. All of these can bring big transformation to help in the waste management.

“Cambodia has a great human resource. For instance, in ITC, there are tons of smart, creative, and talented students there who know a lot of great stuff about technology. Some of the students there won a competition of creating robots. They are amazing enough to invent robots, they definitely have many ideas, more so on waste management in their very own country. Everyone can ask themselves what they can do for their country.”

After Mr Hor’s presentation, a documentary featuring the large amount of plastic Cambodia produces every day was shown to the audience. The documentary also addressed the rapid expansion of plastic production and consumption since the 1950s, bringing both a global dimension and personal, intimate perspective into discussion.

All the organisations involved in this digitalisation project hope to encourage more and more Cambodians to reduce the use of plastic and recycle those that can still be used in other ways. When the digitalisation of waste management takes full effect in the future, it will make recycling a lot easier and faster, and will make the lives of Khmers a lot better – and cleaner.

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