Keo Sovan, 42, father of five, is one of hundreds of street sweepers employed by the garbage contractor Cintri. He is unique among the sweepers because he has no hands; they were blown off in a landmine accident in 1985 when Sovan was a soldier in Battambang. He uses his elbows as braces to hold the broom and he is quite capable of looking after his patch on the riverfront between the FCC and Street 108. He also rides a bicycle to work. Sovan is paid $35 a month, and works seven days a week, eight hours a day.
aste collection was franchised to private contractors from June 1994 by the municipality
which found it was unable to cope with the responsibility itself.
Since then the service provider has been changed six times, mainly due to financial
difficulties, according to JICA.
The municipality now has a relatively stable relationship with contractor Cintri,
which was given an exclusive 47-year contract from September 2002 that excludes the
Neighborhood Management Project (NIP) area in central Chamkar Mon. Collection in
this area has been retained by the municipality.
A JICA report says: "Waste collection has generally been improved by the current
private company. However, many areas of the city are still without adequate waste
collection service and many tons of wastes are dumped into rivers and ponds, burned
or left uncollected to be scattered by animals, block drains and create unsanitary
"Waste collection is especially weak in outlying areas and in many of the city's
unplanned settlements that are home for thousands of the poorest families."
Expansion of the collection to unserviced areas will be a key recommendation of the
solid waste management master plan.
Currently 90 percent of urban residents have access to a waste collection service,
but only 45 percent of rural residents. Having access does not mean their garbage
Robert Deutsch, a member of the JICA study team, says:
"Cintri's waste collection service fee is charged with the monthly electricity
bill. Fee collection was reported to be 60 percent for households and 15 percent
for businesses. Municipality staff collect the service fee in the NIP area door-to-door.
About 60 percent is collected."