The government is collaborating with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank as well as other development partners to create standardised landfills in some provinces in 2022, with the first being Preah Sihanouk province’s landfill which was opened in November.
Neth Pheaktra, spokesman for the Ministry of Environment, said on November 30 that the Preah Sihanouk provincial landfill was the first of its kind in Cambodia because it was built in accordance with up-to-date technical standards.
In 2022, at least six more landfills built to modern specifications will be put into operation in the other target provinces of Kep, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang and Kampot. The government and development partners then plan to build landfills in Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey provinces in the next phase.
The landfills are being constructed by the government with financing help from development partners, including ADB and the World Bank.
The landfill project is being implemented by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and after construction is complete they will be managed and operated by the environment ministry.
According to the technical standards followed by the public works ministry, the landfills will be used for five years. Each landfill has four pits built on 5ha of land. They can contain seven layers of rubbish 21m high and hold about one million tonnes of waste in total.
“The government’s goal is good solid waste management, which is the entire purpose of the national solid waste management policy that it has implemented,” Pheaktra said.
He said the environment ministry will continue to provide technical assistance and capacity building to sub-national administrative officials in the field of waste management for urban areas.
Hok Sophannaro, director of the Preah Sihanouk provincial urban landfill, said the landfill is called Otasek. He said that in the 25 day period from the first day it was open on November 5 to November 30, up to 10,574 tonnes of rubbish were dumped into it with an average of about 400 tonnes of waste arriving per day.
He said the rubbish is not only collected from Sihanoukville, but also from residents’ homes, factories and companies in Prey Nop district. Two companies are collecting solid waste in Sihanoukville and Prey Nop district to dump in the landfill.
According to Pheaktra, more than 10,000 tonnes of rubbish is generated in Cambodia per day, equaling about four million tonnes per year.
In Preah Sihanouk province alone, about 350 to 400 tonnes of rubbish is generated per day. About 65 per cent of it is organic waste, 20 per cent is plastic and the rest is other kinds of solid waste. The amount of rubbish increases about 10 to 15 per cent annually in the province.
“The environment ministry has encouraged the public to separate their waste according to technical standards and recycling needs to reduce the amount of waste dumped in the landfill because waste can be economically valuable if it is sorted and separated by type for recycling,” he said.