City Sues To End Private Garbage Contract

The Phnom Penh Municipality has filed a complaint with the municipal court to cancel a gar­bage collection contract with a local private company, according to city and company officials.

Nhem Saran, director of the city’s Public Works Department, said the municipality is no longer tolerant of poor job performance by the local waste disposal company PSBK.

“[PSBK] didn’t truck away garbage on time, especially during the Water Festival,” Nehm Saran said Thursday, claiming the company has been negligent in its job.

The city filed the complaint last week after Governor Chea Soph­ara suggested the cancelation at the municipality’s weekly meeting, he said.

But an official of the company said PSBK has performed well.

Ros Sim, PSBK’s deputy director, said his company, which generally collects 200 truckloads of waste every day, had collected more trash than ever during the Water Festival. And the collection, he said, was made relatively on time.

He also claimed the city’s move to cancel the contract was a surprise for his company because no one had given his company prior warning beforehand.

PSBK is the second contractor to handle the city’s waste collection, following the German company Environmental Develop­ment Co Ltd ENV signed a 50-year contact with the municipality in late 1996, but disappeared from Cambodia after the factional fighting in July 1997. PSBK took over the remainder of the contract later that year.

Nhem Saran said the municipality plans to take charge of the city’s garbage collection if the court rules in favor of the cancellation. A successful ruling for the city could result in more donor money going to the municipality.

“If the garbage collection is handed over to another private company, financial aid [from donors to the municipality] will be stranded,” he said. But he said the municipality needs more technical and financial assistance on waste issues.



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