HNOM Penh Muncipality has signed a 25-year concession contract with the French
company Asia Pacific Development (APD) which is intended to revolutionize
garbage collection in the city. But it could mean hefty charges for residents
City authorities are to impose a "rubbish" tax on all
households and businesses to pay ADP to run the new service which is to begin on
Rates for the new tax have yet to be decided but ADP has
proposed either a flat charge of around $28 per month per household and $120 per
month for larger businesses, or it may charge according to volume of rubbish.
Sam Samuth, deputy director of the Municipality's City Cleaning Service,
which is currently responsible for garbage collection admits the company's
proposed charges are expensive but said: "The rates are still open for
Samuth admitted the Municipality may have been hasty in
signing the contract with APD without agreeing on charges.
A copy of the
contract obtained by the Post says: "Both sides [APD and the Municipality] will
study the level of tax needed, it will depend on how much the company has to
spend to keep the city clean. They will calculate a reasonable price."
The Municipality is to assist the company in the collection of the tax
and will impose fines on non-payers, Samth said.
He added his
department's 690 employees will be transferred to ADP.
collection was free but notoriously bad due to lack of government funds, with
many areas of the city blighted by piles of uncollected trash.
conscientious companies in the city have been donating 1,500,000 to 2,000,000
riel per month towards the cost of garbage collection.
Under the contract
ADP will pay the city $55,000 in the first five years for the concession. The
amount will increase by 10 percent over each subsequent five years during the
25-year term. All revenues from the rubbish tax will go to the
ADP representative Yannick Mache is due to arrive in Phnom Penh
today (May 20) to begin work on setting up the new service and negotiate with
the municipality to fix the charges.
The company plans to invest $20
million and is to import new garbage trucks and other equipment.
said that the signing of the contract had been a big relief for cash-strapped
city authorities. Of 30 plus garbage trucks only 15 were servicable, he said,
while the city was spending $6,000 a month to hire additional trucks to tote
rubbish to the dump at Stung Meanchey.
He added: "To have a French
company sign this contract is a good prospect for us to relieve both pollution
and financial problems."
Samuth admitted the city was in such desperate
financial straits that it was sometimes unable to pay its workers their daily
pay rates of 1,500 riel.
Keo Savin, director of the Municipality's Public
Works and Transport Department expressed fears that ADP might withdraw from the
contract as other companies who have signed deals with the city in the past have
He said: "If the contract is broken, the Municipality would face
serious financial difficulty over the next few months."