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A man wheels his goods past a pile of rubbish at Phnom Penh’s Kab Ko market last year.
A man wheels his goods past a pile of rubbish at Phnom Penh’s Kab Ko market last year. Eli Meixler

New fines announced for trash code violators

A stern warning to clean up or pay up was issued to litterbugs yesterday, with Interior Minister Sar Kheng announcing fines for improper waste disposal across the country.

The announcement came as Kheng outlined the details of a new sub-decree on waste management, which includes an order to municipal and provincial authorities to put the onus for refuse control on individuals and businesses.

“The national administration will fund local authorities to achieve the management . . . of liquid and solid waste in populated areas by suggesting that people change their behaviour and take part in environmental protection,” he said.

According to the sub-decree, people who do not follow guidelines on separating waste, or who dump or burn rubbish in public places, will be fined between 10,000 and 200,000 riel (about $2.50 to $50). Businesses and other enterprises will also be fined if they are found to have broken the law.

“If the people do not pay the fine on deadline, the fine will be doubled or tripled. If they do not pay in 90 days, the authorities will file documents to the appropriate court,” the sub-decree reads.

A local environment official, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to talk to the media, said he hoped the sub-decree would change people’s attitudes towards waste disposal.

“But it will take time to widely announce and educate people about hygiene and keeping our environment clean.”

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