Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chong Kneas set for transformation via new centre for sorting plastic waste

Chong Kneas set for transformation via new centre for sorting plastic waste

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A girl is painting a picture showing impact of plastic on life in water at a recycling centre in Chong Kneas commune in Siem Reap province on November 29. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Chong Kneas set for transformation via new centre for sorting plastic waste

An abandoned building in Chong Kneas community has been granted a new lease of life after Siem Reap provincial authorities reclaimed it from a private company. The transformed building is located near the waterfront in Chong Kneas commune, Siem Reap city, Siem Reap province, and it has become a plastic waste processing centre for the Chong Kneas community.

The renovation was part of a project to support the community of Chong Kneas commune by implementing the three-year Waste Management and Harvest Plastic Program of the Tonle Sap Lake-based NGO2 Bamboo Shoot Organisation and its partners.

Sea Sophal, president of the NGO2 Bamboo Shoot Organisation, told The Post that in just two days, on November 25-26, a group of students from the Chong Kneas community transformed the old building into an attractive new centre.

“We have repainted the building. Children have drawn pictures that have turned this abandoned building into an educational one, which will provide information to tourists in the area. We will use the grounds of the building to store and sort garbage collected from all over the area,” he said.

Sea Sophal explained that the youth’s hand-painting drawings showed off the biodiversity of the Tonle Sap Lake, provided environmental education and demonstrated the effects of plastic waste. Billboards displaying photographs of environmental clean-up activities were also on display.

“The building is next to the waterfront, surrounded by people’s floating houses. Previously, it was owned by the Xu Jing Company, but later the Siem Reap provincial administration took over. That was when it was decided to redevelop it,” he said.

Sea Sophal said that the building’s repurposing for the benefit of the community is due to cooperation between the authorities at all levels and the community. The centre will contribute in part to keeping the Tonle Sap Lake and its surroundings clean and green.

Lim Boren, a teacher at Chong Kneas Secondary School whose students painted on the walls of the building, said that the artwork was an opportunity for them to express how they feel about environmental issues.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Youths look at a photo exhibition on the impact of plastic at a recycling centre. PHOTO SUPPLIED

She believed that the paintings will attract the attention of tourists.

“We were concerned about their ability at first, but the art has turned out really well. The illustrations clearly show the damage that plastic bags are doing to the environment and how they are affecting the beauty of our beautiful lake,” she added.

May Mean, a youth in charge of sanitation in the area, expressed his happiness with the authorities for providing the facility to the community.

After renovating the building, he said a working team will decide the types of waste that will be stored for recycling. Part of the building will become an educational space for community volunteers to continue their outreach activities.

“We have set one part aside for waste sorting and recycling. The other will be used to educate people. We will not change people’s mindsets by spreading the word for one or two days. We need a place which is dedicated to educating children. Once their mindset is changed, they will join our movement and lead us in the future,” he added.

The Chong Kneas community is a natural tourist destination. Many visitors travel there each year to watch the beautiful sunsets on the lake and learn about the lives of the people who live in the floating villages. The community, which is 21km from Siem Reap town, has a population of around 1,000 families, 700 of whom live in floating houses.

Chong Kneas commune chief Oum Sary said encouraging people to manage waste correctly is very important to preserving the commune’s natural beauty as a tourist destination. On behalf of the local authorities, he expected the new centre to play a large part in improving the area and its surrounds.

“Now we have to provide the equipment the residents will need to sort the garbage, and establish a monitoring commission. This center will become a central part of our community,” said Sary.

From June to October, local authorities and civil society organisations mobilised the communities in Chong Kneas to collect plastic waste from the river. More than 100 tonnes of plastic waste was retrieved from the area.


  • Five-year-old Hanuman dances his way into hearts of Cambodia

    A young talent from a new-established settlement has emerged, captivating the online world with his mesmerising performances of the traditional Cambodian monkey dance. Roeun Kakada is a five-year-old prodigy who has taken the social media sphere by storm with his exceptional dance skills and dedication

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • Honda shutters Siem Reap football club

    Japanese football legend Keisuke Honda, the owner of Siem Reap football club Soltilo Angkor FC, has been forced to shut the club down, after it failed to attract sponsorship for the upcoming season. Honda, the former manager of the Cambodia men's national football team, said

  • Hun Sen warns of regional tensions

    ASIA is becoming a dangerous geopolitical hotspot, with several countries announcing that they intend to send naval vessels towards Southeast Asia and on to the South China Sea, warned Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Heated geopolitical issues can easily escalate, namely to war. I am not

  • PM declares ASEAN Para Games open

    The 12th ASEAN Para Games officially kicked off on the evening of June 3 at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, with a spectacular opening ceremony featuring fireworks and performances by some of the Kingdom’s most accomplished talents. Tens of thousands of sports fans

  • Waterway job still pending for Kampot tourism port’s opening

    The search is still on for a contractor to expand and deepen the Kampot International Tourism Port’s waterway and deliver additional enhancements allowing safe access for larger vessels, nearly a year after the main construction work on the 4.25ha site was completed on June 30, 2022.