The Battambang provincial administration and the Ministry of Environment has announced the launch of a pilot programme for the urban National Solid Waste Management Platform system (NSWM-PLATFORM). The programme will be applied to the national road system to better manage solid waste, in accordance with the principle of “collecting all of it, collecting it clean, collecting on time”.

The launch ceremony, held at Stung Sangke Hotel, was presided over by Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou and Heng Nareth, undersecretary of state at the environment ministry and secretary-general of the municipal solid waste management committee.

The provincial administration on August 8 said the programme aims to eliminate disorderly littering, which causes bad odours and affects the daily lives of local residents, as well as the tourists who come to visit the province.

“This requires everyone’s attention. Despite some seeing it as only a small problem, a multitude of small issues becomes a large one causing many headaches for both residents and the authorities.

Therefore, we need to work together to make Battambang town free of garbage. This will provide clean living spaces and increase the number of tourists,” Lou said.

“Implementing the NSWM-PLATFORM will make Battambang town free of garbage, with no plastic bags flying through the air in public places. As visitor numbers increase, the livelihoods of our people will improve,” he added.

Battambang town governor Leang Veasna noted that the implementation of the pilot programme will strengthen the efficiency of collecting and transporting solid waste.

“The town administration wants to eliminate the garbage that used to be dumped in front and behind houses. After several weeks it rotted and produced maggots and foul odours. We want to end this problem for good,” he said.

Waste committee secretary-general Nareth said that through steady seven per cent annual economic growth, Cambodia has graduated from a low-income country to a low-middle-income one, and aims to become an upper middle-income one by 2030.

Along with the development of the country’s economy – as well as people’s income – he said the issue of solid waste management has also become an important topic, as it is steadily increasing.

“The Kingdom now produces four million tonnes of garbage per year. Battambang town generates about 120 to 140 tonnes per day, a large increase. We are concerned about managing this amount of waste,” he said.