Phnom Penh municipal authorities met on Wednesday with the city’s embattled trash-collection company, Cintri, to draft a new contract, according to a statement posted to City Hall’s Facebook page.
A letter from the Council of Ministers in February allowed City Hall and the Environment Ministry to review Cintri’s contract following years of complaints by residents over the firm’s poor performance in disposing of ever-increasing amounts of trash.
“The meeting over the draft contract between Cintri and the city’s 12 district governors sought to resolve trash collection issues in the capital’s 96 communes,” the municipality’s statement said.
It added that a new dump site, collection fees, trash transportation and the appropriate distribution of staff across the city’s communes were also discussed at the meeting, which was attended by municipal governor Pa Socheatvong.
A series of strikes have marred Cintri’s tenure as the sole municipal trash collector since 2002. During a June 2014 work stoppage, district security guards were called in to clean up the accumulating piles of garbage.
Contacted after the meeting, City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said that more details needed to be sorted out in the draft contract before it was finalized.
“In the meeting, we talked about how to make the city cleaner and how to increase the quality of trash collection,” he said, adding that garbage collection fees were also on the docket.
“We are now discussing about [collection fees] because normally it is paid with the electricity bill, so we discussed…whether people should pay the company directly.”
Asked whether another company could be given a contract to collect trash alongside Cintri—an option raised by the Council of Ministers in February—the spokesman did not rule out the possibility.
“That’s a good idea, having two companies to collect trash, but we have [to] review whether the [old] contract gives permission for a new company or not, and we would need time to discuss it,” he said.
Seng Savy, Cintri’s director general, could not be reached.