Company Hired to Collect Garbage at Angkor

The Apsara Authority, aiming to draw more tourists to visit the ancient Angkor temples, signed a contract last week with a local private company to collect garbage generated by vendors and tour­ists inside the protected 4,000-square-km Angkor complex, Apsara officials said Tuesday.

The three-year contract with HCC Group Co Ltd was signed Friday, and trash collection has al­ready begun, officials said.

“We want to make the temples more beautiful and offer a more hygienic environment for the tourists,” Apsara Authority Dep­u­ty Director Soeung Kong said  Tuesday. He said the authority had neither trucks to transport the garbage nor a site at which to dump it. Apsara will continue to employ the 300 workers who guard and clean the temples. These employees are permitted to clean weeds off the temples and collect trash thrown into the nearby ponds. They also trim trees that interfere with the route to the temple complex.

The HCC employees are contracted only to clean trash on the site grounds, not the temples themselves, he said.

The contract with HCC Group comes after the Apsara Authority evicted 64 families from the Angkor compound. Soeung Kong said Apsara will soon evict at least 100 more families squatting on the site.

HCC has cooperated with another waste management company, located 8 km from the Ap­sa­ra protectorate area, to store the gar­bage. The company will use four garbage trucks and other necessary materials for the cleanup.

HCC will employ between 128 and 170 local residents as gar­bage collectors. Their salaries will range from $40 to several hundred dollars a month.

HCC already collects trash at the Siem Reap and Phnom Penh airports, the company’s general manager, Hun Lak, said Tuesday.

“We have enough experience to clean the garbage at Angkor, and our company generates work for the local people,” Hun Lak said. He refused to disclose how much Apsara pays HCC Group for its services.


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