City Plans to Place Garbage Bins Around Phnom Penh

Nearly two weeks after Prime Minister Hun Sen asked Phnom Penh residents to help stop litter from flowing into the city’s refurbished drainage system, a city official announced yesterday that the municipality would begin installing garbage bins throughout Phnom Penh before the end of the year.

“I think we have now reached a new step,” Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema said on the sidelines of a meeting yesterday morning at City Hall that attracted about 400 people. “We have classified trash into two types–wet trash and dry trash–that people can place in the trash bins.”

He added that the bins will be in public areas and will resemble the plastic Cintri receptacles that sparsely dot the city. He did not elaborate on the cost or scope of the project.

Yesterday’s meeting focused on a garbage-collection campaign started in March, fines collected since May and challenges trash collectors face.

Echoing Mr Hun Sen’s remarks earlier this month, Mr Chuktema said Phnom Penh residents must play a greater role in controlling litter.

“The problem today is not trash collecting,” he said. “The problem today is people’s participation.”

About two weeks ago, Mr Hun Sen said litter was clogging Phnom Penh’s drainage system, which underwent a roughly $20 million makeover between October 2007 and February.

Chiek Ang, director of City Hall’s environmental department, said yesterday that a garbage-collection campaign was aired in March, targeting residents and merchants. The initiative encouraged people to properly bag their garbage and leave it outside their homes and businesses only around scheduled pick-up hours.

“We want to change people’s idea of improperly throwing trash away,” Mr Ang told the audience, adding that about $3,500 in fines had been collected through mid-September.

Yeng Narin, a 26-year-old banana seller at Phsar Kandal, said yesterday that she was unaware of the city’s garbage-collection campaign.

“I am very busy with my small business,” she said.

Ms Narin did, however, like the idea of garbage bins placed near the market. “I think the garbage bins will help the city have a good environment, good order and good hygiene,” she said.

Cintri Deputy Director Seng Chamroeun, who also spoke at yesterday’s meeting, said his company was working toward distributing more garbage bins throughout Phnom Penh.


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