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A woman and her child walk along a rubbish filled canal last year in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district.
A woman and her child walk along a rubbish filled canal last year in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district. Vireak Mai

Trash woes worse in rural areas: gov’t

Solid-waste management remains a big problem across Cambodia as authorities lack the capacity and funding to clean it up, according to a new report released by the Ministry of Environment yesterday.

Phnom Penh and the provincial cities clear solid waste by trucking it out of town and dumping it on private land or in temporary landfills.

Cambodia has 76 dump sites presently, and the amount of waste is projected to keep climbing quickly, the report found.

The amount of waste generated in 2014 – 109 million tonnes – was 10 per cent higher than in 2013, the report said.

According to the study, while the Ministry of Environment was partially successful in increasing its waste-control capacity, solid-waste management remains a growing problem, particularly outside of cities.

While 60 to 80 per cent of trash in urban areas is collected, only 40 per cent is collected outside of towns.

Ieng Auny, a Phnom Penh deputy municipal official, said that the amount of waste in landfills was increasing because of improvements in collection, adding that plastic waste causes some of the biggest problems.

“It is hard to change people’s behaviour, and we need to find things to replace it, like lotus leaves or paper,” he said.

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