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Water Festival rubbish collectors thanked for work

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Rubbish collectors scoop trash out of the Tonle Sap river. KT/Chor Sokunthea

More than 2,000 rubbish collectors and volunteers spent the nights clearing garbage and litter left over by visitors to events in the capital during the three-day Water Festival and have been recognised for their hard work.

Environment Minister Say Samal yesterday said that they worked from midnight to 7am daily to clear the mess along the riverside, gardens and the other places during the festival which ended on Tuesday.

“I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation for the good job done by the workers and also volunteers from the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia, Environment Department and other institutions who joined hands to clear the garbage and also for going around educating the public on how to dispose of rubbish responsibly,” he said.

Mr Samal noted that more such joint efforts are needed in order for Cambodia to have a clean and hygienic environment.

He urged people living, working and doing business from homes in the cities and other urban areas to regularly clean up their surroundings to maintain beauty and promote public welfare.

Neth Pheaktra, a ministry spokesman, yesterday said 2,030 people took part in the cleaning operations over the three days.

People walk by rubbish bins placed along the riverside for the Water Festival. KT/Chor Sokunthea

He said 1,130 volunteers from the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia, Environment Department, Tourism Department, Education Department and informal sectors also helped clean up event sites and disseminated information to visitors on how to dispose of rubbish properly.

“City Hall deployed more than 2,000 rubbish bins and baskets in the areas where the celebration took place in order to make it easier for visitors to dispose of garbage,” Mr Pheaktra added.

He said that the efforts of many young volunteers to clean up the areas was really valuable in helping to spread a message to the public that they should take good care of the environment in the Kingdom.

“Your actions will leave a mark in the memories of thousands of people who saw you clean up the environment during the Water Festival,” Mr Pheatra said.

Meth Meas Pheakdey, a City Hall spokesman, said this year visitors to festival events had changed their habits and disposed of waste properly compared to previous years.

“I noticed that although there was still a lot of waste generated, it was mostly kept in rubbish bins which shows that our people have started to change their mindsets about disposing garbage in public areas. The situation was better than last year,” he said.

Keo Channarith, Dangkor district dumpsite manager, said that more than 6,500 tonnes of waste were collected in the capital and brought to the dumpsite during the festival, with 30 percent coming from festival sites.

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