The Ministry of Environment has asked people to cooperate in the proper sorting and packaging of solid waste to avoid rubbish being discarded in public places which affects people’s health and the environment.

To this end, the ministry has installed 50 solid waste incinerators in 21 provincial towns to improve waste disposal.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post on August 2 that the ministry supports all sub-national administrations’ efforts to manage solid waste efficiently.

“To further strengthen the capacity of local officials to manage solid waste more effectively, the ministry supports local administrations through the provision of additional equipment and skills training to move towards efficient urban solid waste management,” he said.

Pheaktra confirmed that the installation of 50 incinerators in the 21 provinces – equivalent to 49 town and districts – was an urgent issue, whereas solid waste management using proper bins, adequat transportation and landfills were strategic components of urban solid waste management policy.

The report said the ministry had provided 17 rubbish trucks to nine provinces; 118 tricycles for waste transport to 21 provinces; two waste disposal units to Preah Sihanouk province; 68 large bins to eight provinces; 500 bins to public parks; and 91 water filters to five provinces.

The ministry has also provided rubbish collection packages – 50 water filters and 300 bins – within the framework of the project to promote and develop a sustainable environment nationwide.

At the same time, the ministry has provided three training courses for sub-national administrations within the framework of democratic development reform at the sub-national level.

Pheaktra said the training would provide local officials with the skills needed to manage solid waste effectively, improve the quality of the environment and participate in sustainable socio-economic development.

He noted that Siem Reap province’s Banteay Srei district, Prey Veng province’s Prey Veng town and Svay Antor district, and Tbong Khmum province’s O’Reang-ou district have been implementing solid waste management after receiving the assistance.

Preah Sihanouk province’s Sihanoukville and Prey Nop district, Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district, Kratie province’s Snuol district and Mondulkiri province’s Pech Chreada district also plan to introduce solid waste management soon.

“The ministry calls on people to participate in packing rubbish properly and sorting waste according to the type to avoid littering,” Pheaktra said.

Through this waste management initiative, Siem Reap’s Banteay Srei district governor Khim Finan used the “self-managed community” formula to successfully implement local waste management in Preah Dak village in early 2021.

“This has given the community the autonomy to manage and collect fees at reasonably low rates, but still under the control of the local authorities. Community representatives collected 4,000 riel ($1) from each family. For businesses or large-scale sellers, the service fees range from 10,000 riel to 30,000 riel,” Finan said.

According to Finan, the formula is non-profit waste collection that the district administration has tried to encourage because – due to the small number of customers for waste collection services in rural areas – it is not easy to find companies that are interested in investing in those markets.