Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Capital's new dump opens

Capital's new dump opens

Capital's new dump opens

090721_02
A man looks on as the first garbage trucks arrive at the capital’s new city dump Monday morning.

Thirty-hectare landfill located near Choeung Ek killing fields
replaces iconic Stung Meanchey and displaces scavengers

THE capital's new 30-hectare dumpsite located near the Choeung Ek killing fields received its first truckloads of trash at 8am Monday morning during a ceremony that drew more than 20 municipal officials.

Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Chreang Sophan said the day was significant because it marked both the opening of the new site, located 15 kilometres outside central Phnom Penh, and the closing of Stung Meanchey, the 44-year-old dump that had in recent years become an icon of international poverty.

"Today, we open the new dump, and - just as important - we close the old dump," he said in an interview.

Svay Lorn, the former chief of Stung Meanchey who will become chief at the new site, said the new dump would be able to process just as much waste as the old one did - roughly 1,000 tonnes of trash from the capital each day.

Drawing a distinction from Stung Meanchey, where trash has been piled aboveground, he said staff at the new site would bury the trash in order to cut down on the smell.

"Every time we reach 2,000 tonnes, we will bury the trash at once in order to smother the smell," he said.

Chreang Sophan highlighted another quality that set the new site apart from Stung Meanchey: no scavengers.

"We will not allow the scavengers to work here and even if we did, they wouldn't have any garbage to collect because we will bury it every two days," he said.

Phymean Noun, the director of the People Improvement Organisation, a local NGO, estimated in a recent interview that Stung Meanchey was the main source of income for about 1,000 families.

Chan Sokkhoeun, a 50-year-old scavenger, said Sunday that her family had "depended" on income earned from the site since 1992.
"I could earn anything from 8,000 riels (roughly US$2) per day to 10,000 riels per day, but I will not earn this anymore," she said. "I really don't want them to move the dump to another place, but I cannot forbid them."

From trash to gas
City Hall announced in April that it had approved a proposal from a German company to convert waste from Stung Meanchey into methane gas.
Detlef Gutjahr, a representative from the International Environmental Consulting Company, said at the time that the company was committed to processing the waste for the next 15 years.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh