With more than 3,000 tonnes of rubbish to be disposed of daily in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian government has announced plans to acquire and manage Cintri, a private company contracted to collect and dispose of waste in the capital. -- NSTP Archive

WITH more than 3,000 tonnes of rubbish to be disposed of daily in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian government has announced plans to acquire and manage Cintri, a private company contracted to collect and dispose of waste in the capital.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said the city is fast expanding and as a result, the amount of waste has increased tremendously from 20 years ago with only 500 tonnes of rubbish collected daily.

He was quoted by khmertimeskh.com saying the biggest problems plaguing the capital are the mounting piles of trash, traffic jams and a lack of parking space.

He asked the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Phnom Penh City Hall to work with Cintri on the acquisition, adding that the government must purchase and manage the company to provide a better and more efficient service.

“I think Cintri will not argue with this decision,” Hun Sen said. “We signed a contract with Cintri, allowing them to operate and collect waste, in 1996 or 1997 – more than 20 years ago. Back then the city only generated around 500 tonnes of waste per day but now it is up to 3,000 tonnes per day because the city has expanded so fast.”

Hun Sen said the government will eventually divide the city into several collection zones, assigning one waste collection company to each. A total of four companies will be chosen through public bidding to provide waste collection services, he said, warning of the need for the bidding process to be transparent.

“We cannot allow Cintri alone to provide waste collection services anymore. With only one company in charge of this task, when the company is not working or its workers are on holiday, uncollected rubbish piles up.

“We must acquire Cintri and all its equipment and City Hall can manage it. After the acquisition, we will manage all Cintri’s staff. Then, we will start to prepare the new zones and allow other companies to join the bidding process to collect the waste and clean the city. We will do it zone by zone.”