A senior official of the Ministry of Environment said that the management of solid waste in public places remained a challenge. He implored the public to avail themselves of waste management services, warning that 36 per cent of garbage was still being dumped outside of landfills.

The remark was made by The Environment Ministry secretary of state Neth Pheaktra during the annual review of yearly results for 2022 and implementation planning for 2023 on October 31.

Pheaktra said that in 2022, the amount of waste generated in Cambodia increased by more than 4 million tonnes, an increase of 10 or 15 per cent on previous years.

“Only 64 per cent is dumped in landfills. The remaining 36 per cent is scattered in other locations, like waterways or public places. The ministry has developed policies and encouraged further cooperation with sub-national authorities to ensure that landfills are better organised,” he said.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Hall Administration issued a reminder for the public to dispose of their garbage correctly by sorting it, packing it neatly and making sure it was put out for collection at the appropriate time which has been set.

In an October 31 instruction, the administration said that in order to ensure the beauty of the capital – and to protect public health and the environment – more attention must be paid to waste management. In addition, it is economically viable to recycle separated waste products, which also reduces the volume being added to landfills.

In response to its vision of improved waste management – and especially in advance of the upcoming November 23 National Environmental Sanitation Day – the municipal hall has introduced new measures at key target locations.

District and commune administrations must take responsibility for all public spaces. They must regularly collect garbage from all streets, riverbanks, parks and markets in their jurisdictions. They should also plant seedlings to beautify their localities.

All public institutions – including schools, pagodas and hospitals –must keep the interior and exterior of their premises free from accumulated waste to ensure a hygienic environment.

Factories, enterprises and all businesses must educate their staff, and any contracted food vendors about the importance of the correct management and storage of waste materials.

Pak Sokharavuth, director-general of the General Department of Environmental Protection, said environmental protection and social impact assessments have been continuously strengthened, improved and sharpened. They are important mechanisms and are widely accepted as necessary to protect public welfare and ensure sustainable development.

He said the ministry is paying close attention to the situation and laying out strategies to respond to the challenges of improving the efficiency of solid waste management.