Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Clock ticking on city’s waste crisis: reports



Clock ticking on city’s waste crisis: reports

Workers shovel rubbish into a truck in the capital last year.
Workers shovel rubbish into a truck in the capital last year. Vireak Mai

Clock ticking on city’s waste crisis: reports

The government could be forced to shell out more than $120 million to build new landfills over the next decade unless it invests in preventing Phnom Penh’s current site from reaching capacity, according to a pair of new reports.

Released jointly at an event at the capital’s Sunway Hotel yesterday, the reports paint a picture of a looming trash crisis, with population growth and urban development set to increase the amount of waste produced by the municipality daily by at least 150 per cent in 15 years.

At this trajectory, the city will generate 10 million tonnes of waste by 2030, at which time at least 3,112 tonnes will be churned out each day, according to the Institute of Technology of Cambodia research, supported by the US-based Asia Foundation.

Jon Morales, program manager for the Asia Foundation’s Urban Services Program in Cambodia, said the figures were conservative. With the capital’s only landfill – located in Dangkor district – set to reach capacity in five years, the government has a two-year window to act, he said.

“Without measures taken to mitigate, or recover some of the cumulative waste predicted to build up in the next 15 years in Phnom Penh beyond the current methods, there simply will not be enough appropriate land available to accommodate the expected amount of waste,” he said.

If nothing is done, Phnom Penh will need to pump $120 million over the next decade into new landfills, the second report, prepared by waste-management NGO COMPED, estimates. As a solution, it proposes building a $1.2 million composting plant for food and organic waste it says could extend the life of the Dangkor site from 2020 to at least 2040.

In December, Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Ieng Aunny said the city was searching for investors to build an incineration plant to ease the burden, but it’s unclear if any progress toward that goal has been made.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42