Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Slump has hit the dump, say recyclers

Slump has hit the dump, say recyclers

Slump has hit the dump, say recyclers

090305_14.jpg
090305_14.jpg

Foreign buyers of recycled paper and metal have disappeared, say collectors who blame the global economic crisis

Photo by: Tracey Shelton

Trash collectors by the Tonle Sap river in Phnom Penh.

SELLERS of recycled paper and metal have reported a sharp decline in business in recent months, which several said has coincided with the global economic downturn.

Tiv Theary, who runs a repository in Phnom Penh that purchases trash paper from individuals and small business and turns it into sellable recycled paper, said she used to sell four tonnes of paper each day.

Since about last June, however, she has been able to sell only one tonne each day, she said.

She said the price she can charge for recycled paper in Vietnam and Thailand has fallen dramatically. For example, she said, the price per kilogram has fallen from seven Thai baht (19 US cents) last June to one baht (three US cents). As a result, she said, she has begun selling recycled paper only in Cambodia.

Lim Thavy, who owns a paper factory in Phnom Penh that makes products from recycled paper, said her factory's sales had decreased by 75 percent since last summer. For this reason, she has not needed to purchase much recycled paper produced by repositories like Tiv Theary's.

Now it takes four months to sell what we produce in one month.

"Before, we could sell the product at the same rate we produced it," she said. "Now it takes four months to sell what we produce in one month."

Lim Thavy said there are five factories that process recycled materials in Phnom Penh, including one that specialises in metals.

Bel, who runs a small shop on the Thai-Cambodian border in Banteay Meanchey province that sells recycled metals, said he had stopped selling to Thai businessmen because the price had fallen from 20 baht (55 US cents) per kilogram to six baht (17 US cents) since last summer. 

Thon Virak, deputy director general of the directorate general of international trade at the Ministry of Commerce, said the ministry could not provide information on the amount of recycled goods sold domestically or exported to Thailand and Vietnam each year.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said