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Capital braces for rubbish

4 garbage scott howes

Residents of Phnom Penh will soon have to store their daily garbage as workers from the city’s waste-disposal company, Cintri, go on their Khmer New Year break.

Phnom Penh City Hall issued a notice on Friday that refuse-collection services would stop from April 12 to 18 over the Khmer New Year break.

Authorities instructed city residents to bag and keep their rubbish indoors, to “avoid affecting the city’s cleanliness and image”.

Seng Chamroeun, deputy director of Cintri, told the Post yesterday that the company’s workforce would be reduced by between 60 and 70 per cent as workers took time off to return to their native villages.

“During this period, we will still collect rubbish in some special places like the main boulevards, avenues, markets and downtown areas,” said Chamroeun.

Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Long Dimanche called on residents to be patient and comply with the authorities’ instructions.

According to Dimanche, each of Phnom Penh’s 2.5 million residents produces about one kilogram of garbage each day – totalling about 2,500 tonnes. This garbage is collected by Cintri’s waste trucks and brought to a dumpsite 16 kilometres outside the city.

Phnom Penh resident Heang Vuthea, 27, lives in Russey Keo district and said he has become accustomed to the annual inconvenience. “It’s only for a short time over the Khmer New Year holidays. We keep our garbage and the garbage collectors will come and collect it when they start work,” he said.

“Luckily, most of us go back to our families in the province for some of the time and so [this inconvenience] is only for a short while.”

Additional reporting by Danson Cheong

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