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Cintri told to clean up its act

A Cintri worker cleans up a back log of garbage next to Wat Koh in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district last week
A Cintri worker cleans up a back log of garbage next to Wat Koh in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district last week. Phnom Penh city governor blamed the growing trash problem on Cintri’s performance. Pha Lina

Cintri told to clean up its act

Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong used a meeting with city officials yesterday as an opportunity to criticise Cintri, the company with a monopoly on the capital’s trash collection.

Speaking to 12 district governors and other city officials during a meeting about Phnom Penh’s sewage system and waste problems, Socheatvong said Cintri needs to clean up its act, according to City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche.

Socheatvong said the company’s failure to perform its job properly is resulting in mounting piles of garbage in the streets and the clogging up of the sewage system, Dimanche said.

“The governor urges Cintri to follow the contract between Phnom Penh Municipal Hall and the company for cleaning the city,” he told the Post after the meeting.

In 2002, Cintri, a subsidiary of the Canadian firm Cintec, finalised a deal with City Hall that gave it a monopoly on the collection and disposal of Phnom Penh’s waste.

But in the years since the agreement, Cintri – and the exclusive nature of the contract – have received criticism for failing to adequately address the city’s growing waste problem.

One shop owner in the capital’s Daun Penh district told the Post that Cintri rarely collects the pile of waste in front of her home.

“The waste piles up every day and it affects our health, but we do not dare to say anything since we run a business,… We just keep silent. We want them to solve the waste problem soon,” she said.

Leng Solida, deputy director of Cintri, declined to comment yesterday.

But Nguon Sipheng, a Cintri representative, said that the company honours its agreement with the municipality and is working to address any problems.

In an example of its recent efforts to combat the mounting waste, Sipheng said that because “Daun Penh district is the district that has a lot of tourists, [Cintri] collects the waste there three times every day to make sure it's cleaned”.

Last week, Cintri workers went on strike for the second time this year, eventually accepting raises of $5 to $10 per month to return to the job.

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