Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trash to double over festival

Trash to double over festival

A Cintri worker collects garbage outside Wat Koh pagoda in Phnom Penh in July
A Cintri worker collects garbage outside Wat Koh pagoda in Phnom Penh in July. Pha Lina

Trash to double over festival

The heaps of fly-covered refuse known to accumulate around the capital are set to grow a whole lot worse as millions of visitors arrive for the upcoming Water Festival and tax the city’s overburdened trash collector.

More than two million additional people are expected to crowd into Phnom Penh next week and, along with the influx, garbage is predicted to nearly double, exceeding 2,000 tonnes per day.

To accommodate the increase over the three-day festival starting on November 5, the city’s sole rubbish collector, Cintri, has been asked to bolster its workforce and deploy additional trucks.

“They need to strengthen their capacity,” said Aunny Ieng, deputy governor at City Hall, who expressed doubts that the oft-criticised collector could handle the inundation.

“At the present time, they are not fulfilling their responsibilities. As everyone can see, there is still trash on the streets in many places, so they are not doing their job properly.”

Cintri estimates that an extra 500 workers will be needed to keep the festival areas clean, and has asked all its employees to volunteer during the national holiday. According to the Labour Law, the workers have the days off, but to entice them to help keep the city from being entrenched in trash, the company has promised overtime and per-diem bonuses.

“Every holiday poses a major challenge to trash collection in the city,” said Jon Morales, a program manager at Asia Foundation, which works with Cintri and the city government on waste-management issues. Pay incentives "meet with only limited success, as many understandably prefer to take their holiday”, he said.

Workers, who have twice held strikes this year related to conditions and salary raises, said they’re ready for Water Festival duty but hope to arrange for better pay.

“I always work on holidays … to get the extra money,” said Prak Sokha, a truck driver for Cintri and representative of the workers.

Sokha said that the staff has been promised daily incentives of 30,000 riel ($7.50) for drivers, 15,000 riel ($3.75) for collectors and 5,000 riel ($1.25) for street sweepers.

“I don’t think it is enough,” he said. “We work in dirty places and it affects our health.”


  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Tottenham Hotspur to wear ISF Cambodia logo on jerseys in match against Sheffield United

    Last year, the Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) – an NGO providing education to underprivileged children in Cambodia – made global headlines with its “socially distanced” football initiative. This year, a world-class football club – Tottenham Hotspur FC – will wear special edition jerseys to show their support for ISF