Planning for a new 17.3ha landfill site in Preah Sihanouk is underway as the province’s waste woes mount, Ministry of Public Works and Transport undersecretary of state Kim Borey said on Wednesday.
The site is expected to cost the State $5 million, with development rights awarded to Heng Sambath Import Export Co Ltd, he said.
Construction is scheduled to be completed 17 months from July 1, he said. The project will be located about 3km from National Road 4 in O’Oknha Heng commune, O’Ta Sek village, in southeastern Prey Nop district.
With its four planned pits able to accommodate more than 880,000 cubic metres of waste, the ministry’s aim is for the dumping ground to meet the rubbish needs of the province’s residents by its fifth year of operation, he said.
The pits will be 130m-wide, 150m-long and 2-4m-high. They will be equipped with piping systems to discharge water and gas, he said.
He asked members of the Landfill Sub-Project Management Committee to work closely with all relevant parties and keep tabs on finances and technical aspects to ensure smooth progress on the project.
“The government delivered a budget to improve waste management capacity and hygiene for residents, improve public well-being, and for the environment to keep up with the breakneck pace of progress seen in Preah Sihanouk province,” Borey said.
Prey Nop district governor Sar Kakada said he supported the project, adding that the levels of rubbish in the district had receded recently as Covid-19 compelled factories and other enterprises to suspend operations.
“Most of our residents understand proper rubbish disposal procedures and don’t just throw things out willy-nilly as they use to.
“Authorities have briefed them on the environmental impact of improper rubbish disposal,” he said.
Sok Sokhom, the director of Preah Sihanouk-based NGO Cambodian National Research Organisation (CNRO), lauded the project.
The province lacks a proper dumping site, he said, noting that sluggish waste collection has driven people to dispose of their rubbish along roads.
“Environmental issues in Preah Sihanouk province cannot be labelled as ‘improved’ given that several [landfill] sites remain under development.
“This inevitably leads to rubbish being disposed of near the premises. We have to work together and clean up the environment,” Sokhom said.