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Seminar puts spotlight on refuse problems

Environmental officials and representatives from the waste management sector met on Wednesday at the Ministry of Environment to discuss strategies for dealing more efficiently with the rising amounts of rubbish produced in the capital.

Cheak Ang, director of municipal department of environment, said at the meeting that the city must find ways to reduce the amount of rubbish generated daily and improve rubbish collection in order to handle the more than 1,300 tonnes of rubbish generated by residents of Phnom Penh each day.

“If we do not collect the waste regularly, it will affect people’s health and produce contagious insects and damage the beauty of Phnom Penh.”

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Environment earlier this year, each resident of Phnom Penh on average produces 0.7 kilograms of rubbish per day.

“Because of the increase in population, businesses and technologies, the quantity of collected rubbish continues to increase from 714 tonnes per day in 2004 to 1,335 tones per day in 2010,” the statement said.

Khim Nora, head of the waste management office in the municipal department of environment, said the amount of rubbish being deposited at the Dangkor dumpsite outside Phnom Penh is rising.

“From July 20, 2009 to December 10, 2010, the total waste deposited at the Dangkor dump was 38,627,207 tonnes,” he said during the meeting.

In April, Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema announced that the city would impose fines of 10,000 riels on anyone caught littering.

A report from the department of environment showed that between May 1 and September 15, some 1,208 cases of littering were recorded and fines of more than 14 million riels were collected.

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