Phnom Penh Official Says Second Waste Company Being Sought

With municipal waste management company Cintri failing to deal effectively with Phnom Penh’s ever-mounting garbage, City Hall said Monday that it is seeking a new company to partner the embattled Canadian-owned firm before the rubbish issue becomes an insurmountable problem.

Cintri was in 2002 awarded a 50-year contract giving it sole rights to keep Phnom Penh clean, but has since been criticized for falling short of its responsibilities.

“Cintri appears to lack the capacity to collect garbage and manage it in an effective and timely manner,” Phnom Penh deputy governor Ieng Aun Ny was quoted as saying on the City Hall website Monday. “So to deal with the garbage issue, the Phnom Penh municipality wants two companies to cooperate to improve the collection and better manage the city’s garbage issue.”

Mr. Aun Ny said in the message that a company with experience in waste management—especially in the area of separating and recycling garbage before waste is dumped in landfill—is being sought. The Dangkao district dump is due to reach its capacity next year, he said, and a new dump also will have to be built.

The City Hall website reported that officials had already met with representatives of a Japanese firm called “Koua” and quoted its director, Yusuke Okum, as saying that the company had worked alongside the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Cambodia since 2003.

There is no online record of the company name, but a Japanese waste management company called Kao Group has worked with JICA.

Seng Solady, program officer for JICA’s public relations and training affairs section, declined to comment Monday on the name of the company or whether her organization was involved in the negotiations.

Municipal spokesman Long Dimanche said the story about rubbish collection on the City Hall website was mistaken. The spokesman said that Cintri retained the sole rights to collect Phnom Penh’s garbage.

“The true story is that the Phnom Penh municipality is looking for private companies that are interested to work with us on waste management at the dumpsite,” he said. “It means we need a partner for a recycling program to recycle garbage, not to work with Cintri in collecting garbage.”

He said a number of companies were in the running for the recycling project, and added that Cintri would still be pushed to improve its service, primarily by increasing the number of trucks it uses.

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