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Gov’t, World Bank talk waste management

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Cintri workers collect rubbish in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on September 02. Hong Menea

Gov’t, World Bank talk waste management

The Ministry of Environment and the World Bank are stepping up efforts to achieve the successful management of solid and plastic waste nationwide, as Cambodia produces more than 10,000 tonnes per day.

Environment ministry secretary of state Sao Sopheap and World Bank senior environmental specialist Katelijn Van den Berg met to discuss and review progress for the project to improve solid and plastic waste management in Cambodia, which receives the bank’s financial support of $63 million for a six-year period.

“The meeting discussed the results of the preliminary study and review of the selection of suitable solid waste landfill sites in the provincial towns of Kandal, Kampong Speu and Siem Reap, environmental and social management, progress on general planning, and the next steps.

Sopheap asked the World Bank to clarify the institutions that will lead the project and the project management team, which must be clear from the outset.

Chea Sina, head of the ministry’s General Department of Environmental Protection, also asked the World Bank to clarify why solid waste management in Battambang town and Sihanoukville was not being studied.

He also asked the bank to explain the need to establish a waste transfer station near Siem Reap town and a timeframe to finalise environmental and social documents as no site for a landfill has been established, as well as plans for investment and operation of landfills.

According to the ministry, the World Bank said it will share documents concerning the project team for review and input, and that a lack of infrastructure investment has made studies for Battambang town and Sihanoukville unavailable.

The World Bank will review the investment and operational plans as requested by the ministry.

Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post on September 2 that this collaboration and the provision of financial support was to achieve successful solid waste management in accordance with the government’s policy on urban solid waste management.

According to Pheaktra, it has been estimated that Cambodia produces more than 10,000 tonnes of waste a day, or nearly four million tonnes a year.

He said this was 68 per cent organic waste, over 20 per cent plastic waste, and about 10 per cent solid and hazardous waste. In Phnom Penh, about 2,700 to 3,000 tonnes of rubbish is produced every day.

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