Phnom Penh City Hall officials Monday warned of protests and unspecified actions against Cintri Ltd, the company hired to collect the city’s garbage, claiming its collection services are inadequate and trash is piling up on the capital’s streets.
Cintri, which is responsible for collecting about 90 percent of the household waste in Phnom Penh, has cut its collections in the city from three times per week to just one, said Sum Mum, deputy director of Cintri’s waste service.
Cintri signed a 49-year exclusive waste-collection contract with the municipality in 2002, according to its Web site.
“This is unacceptable,” said Sao Kun Chhon, director of the Municipal Waste Management Office.
“There is too much trash on the street. They must take the trash out. If they cannot do that they can resign from the contract,” Sao Kun Chhon said, adding that he filed a complaint with City Hall urging it to pressure the company because the situation is so serious.
Piles of rotting garbage become a breeding ground for disease and pose a serious health hazard, he said.
A meeting of municipal officials will be held this week to discuss what action to take, he added.
Municipal Governor Kep Chuktema said on Monday that he had warned officials at Cintri that it is not meeting its contractual obligation and the municipality would take action.
“If the company does not clean the trash, be careful, people will protest in front of the company [offices],” Kep Chuktema said.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency said in September 2007 that trash collection in Phnom Penh was inadequate and disposal sometimes improper.
Sum Mum, deputy director of Cintri’s waste service, said on Monday that his company has been dealing with a series of obstacles stemming from problems with the poor condition of the entrance road to the dump in Stung Meanchey district where disposal trucks empty their garbage.
Cintri’s operations in the city have been hampered by damage to company trucks caused by flooding on the road leading to the dump and an unusually large amount of nails that are scattered across the road and have punctured truck tires.
The dumpsite, Sum Mum added, is also full to capacity, which slows down his truck dropping off their loads.
“Please understand the obstacles have caused the delays,” he said. “We won’t abandon the trash.”
The company recently increased its fleet from 50 to 70 trucks but the many delays have cut into that added efficiency, he added.
Kep Chuktema said Cintri needs to use the money residents pay to the company-which is charged to residents on their Electricte Du Cambodge bills-and spend it on improving the road leading up to the dump.
Keo Sakal, chief of Veal Vong commune in Prampi Makara district, said that every street in her commune has trash on it spawning complaints from villagers.
“When the rains comes it creates a bad smell,” she said.
“It affects the city’s beauty.”