Move over, Cintri – there’s a new garbage collector in town.
For the first time in a dozen years, Sihanoukville has a new waste management company, and it has already started collecting trash ahead of the Pchum Ben holiday.
After a one-month bidding process, Sihanoukville officials on Friday awarded a 10-year contract to newcomer waste management firm KSWM (Kampong Som Waste Management) Co Ltd over the established Cintri, according to Preah Sihanouk Governor Y Sokleng.
The two companies were the only ones to submit bids, according to Sokleng. He said officials awarded the contract to KSWM because Cintri did not submit several required documents, while KSWM sent a full application including an investment plan and a waste collection schedule.
“I hope this company is good, but I don’t want to promise it will be better,” Sokleng said. “The company promised to clean all the waste on the street. But it can be done only when there is participation from the people.”
Cintri, which has been criticised for poor service in both Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh, suspended waste collection services in the coastal city last Thursday, citing bad road conditions and profit losses due to residents not paying their waste collection fees.
Cintri Manager Ith Chenda expressed disappointment that the company lost the bid, and said it had pushed municipal officials to improve roads and enforce fee collection for years. “We have been trying for 12 years but in the end we didn’t get what we deserve,” Chenda said.
Chenda acknowledged complaints about Cintri’s services but said that “usually, there is cooperation between the service provider and the public”.
Sokleng said KSWM began collecting waste on Saturday, the day after receiving the contract, with a fleet of 10 trucks and 20 workers.
He added that the Asian Development Bank will help pay for an improved road to the dumpsite, and that officials will begin enforcing fee collection more strictly.
KSWM Director Nuon Visoth said yesterday that he was new to waste management but has hired many employees with knowledge of the industry.
“I’m very interested in this business because it’s not only about business but also about how we can help clean the environment,” Visoth said. “As citizens of Cambodia, we should be interested.”