Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng said the capital welcomes Vietnamese companies keen to invest in the recycling or conversion of waste into electricity and wastewater into clean water, as well as those who can help tackle the problem of waste deodorising management.

The governor’s five-day official visit to Vietnam wrapped up on September 8, with the aims of strengthening friendship, solidarity and improved cooperation in the environment and waste management, education, tourism, training and health sectors between the "sister cities" of Phnom Penh and Hanoi.

At the beginning of his visit on September 5, Sreng and Cambodia's ambassador to Vietnam Chay Navuth accompanied Nguyen Trong Dong – vice-chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee – on a tour to the “CNTY - EUZY” consortium and to its Soc Son waste-to-energy (WTE) plant, located at the Nam Son Waste Treatment Complex in Hanoi.

According to the Phnom Penh Municipal Hall, after many years of engaging in a strong development process, the consortium is now reportedly ranked third in the world in the field of urban environment operations across a field of more than 30 countries as the group has more than 300 solid waste treatment plants worldwide.

The consortium has the capacity to recycle up to 50,000 tonnes per day and has a total of more than 80,000 employees globally, including more than 60,000 Europeans. At the same time, their operations also reduce waste, improve land use efficiency and reduce environmental pollution.

Following his visit to the corporation, Sreng said the Phnom Penh administration would welcome companies from Vietnam keen to invest in the sectors.

“Phnom Penh, which is growing so fast, is facing challenges such as traffic, construction, environmental issues, sewer systems and especially waste problem, which my administration pays close attention to as a way of improving the urban environment, along with some other development partners," he said.

He added that Phnom Penh has had rapid population growth and has reached more than three million people residing there with the amount of rubbish also increasing to over 3,000 tonnes per day.

He said that in the future, Phnom Penh will create two new landfills located to the north and west of the city, noting that there are already three waste collection companies operating in the capital today.

Currently, Cambodia produces more than 10,000 tonnes of solid waste per day and more than four million tonnes per year, with 60 per cent of it organic waste, 20 per cent plastic waste and 10 per cent general waste, according to Ministry of Environment spokesman Net Pheaktra at a recent press conference.

He said that each day, the waste collected to be dumped into the landfills reaches about 5,517 tonnes, or 2,013,924 tonnes per year. Nationwide, there are a total of 213 landfills, of which 142 are state-owned,or 66.6 per cent, and 70 are privately owned.

“The environment ministry is continuing to promote the principles of environmental friendliness in educational institutions, pagodas and public toilets, including the installation of water filters in schools to reduce plastic waste. At the same time, the ministry will encourage the use of bioplastics, plastic substitutes and plastic waste recycling," Pheaktra said.