Phnom Penh residents are saying that waste collection services have improved under the management of the companies who recently took over, while insisting that they still need to improve in many areas in order to meet their customers’ expectations.

Two new operators of waste collection services have been added to the existing waste collector Cintri, with each company awarded a different region of Phnom Penh where they are the sole provider of those services.

They began their operations on July 1 in the capital’s 14 districts after winning competitive bids and undergoing an evaluation and approval process run by the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration.

One of the new companies is 800 Super/Global Action for Environment Awareness Public Ltd, which took over waste collection services for five districts – Tuol Kork, Russey Keo, Sen Sok, Chroy Changvar and Prek Pnov.

The second new firn is Mizuda Group Co Ltd, also covering five districts – Daun Penh, Prampi Makara, Dangkor, Por Sen Chey and Kambol.

The company that was formerly the sole waste collector for the entire city, Cintri, now services just four of the larger districts – Chamkarmon, Boeung Keng Kang, Meanchey and Chbar Ampov.

Two weeks into the new operational scheme for waste collection Phnom Penh’s residents are starting to voice their opinions on the subject.

A gas vendor named Makara who is a resident of Prey Tea commune in Por Sen Chey district said the new services were good and that Mizuda had collected the rubbish carefully without scattering it in front of houses or in public places. And he said the new trucks did not smell as bad as the old ones did when they passed by.

However, he was unsatisfied with the frequency of Mizuda’s collections in his neighbourhood, an area where a lot of factory workers live that tend to make large piles of all of their rubbish in front of their houses.

“The new company doesn’t come to collect rubbish in my area often, so the rubbish was piled high in front of our houses and there are three or four dumpsters that fill up first and the trucks came to collect it once,” he said.

Thol Akara, a resident of Russey Keo district, told The Post on July 14 that she doubted that the new company would do things much differently from the old one in her area.

She said she had observed some improvements like new trucks and a cleaner collection process. But she was worried that as time went by they would just go back to doing things the old way.

“I cannot say what will happen in the future. I do not dare say because the company has just started the service. This was the first month where we got a good look at what the company can do. They come to collect regularly. In the future, I can’t say how it will be. Let’s just wait and see,” she said.

Muoy Kea, a rental house owner in Chamkarmon district’s Phsar Doeum Thkov commune, said the rubbish collection services of the Cintri Company are no different now than they were before.

“There is nothing different. The same trucks and workers come to collect it in front of my house. There is nothing changed much. They collect all the rubbish from my house like before. I just hope that we don’t have any more problems like when the workers were protesting and refused to collect the rubbish for a while, that caused quite a stench,” she said.

San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said the unicipal administration should also establish rubbish collection services to collect waste from the sewage and water drains because this will reduce clogging and the frequency of flooding during the rainy season.

“Besides, [the municipal administration] should appoint people in villages tasked with monitoring waste management and to urge changes in people’s behaviour to help them create cleaner and greener environments. This is something that we want to happen soon in every corner of the country,” he said.