PM Pledges Support for Waste-to-Energy Initiative

Prime Minister Hun Sen has pledged to support a South Korean initiative that converts waste into energy
South Korean ambassador to Cambodia, Park Heung-kyeong receiving presents from Prime Minister Hun Sen. Kiripost via SPM Page
South Korean ambassador to Cambodia, Park Heung-kyeong receiving presents from Prime Minister Hun Sen. Kiripost via SPM Page

South Korea's ECOCAM has asked Cambodia to support a project that converts waste into energy, making a significant contribution to Cambodia’s environment.

South Korean ambassador to Cambodia, Park Heung-kyeong, asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to support recycling waste-to-energy projects under ECOCAM during a meeting with the premier on December 19.

ECOCAM intends to invest in the recycle waste-to-energy project and Hun Sen had pledged support, asking Sok Chenda Sophea, Secretary-General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), to continue working with Suy Sem, Minister of Mines and Energy and Phnom Penh Capital Hall, according to Hun Sen’s official Facebook page.

The project converts waste into energy for use and is seen as making a significant contribution to the Cambodian environment, especially the conversion of waste into economic benefits and human consumption, the Facebook post said.

Online searches on Tuesday for ECOCAM could not be found.

Environmental activist San Mala told Kiripost on Tuesday that from his observation, there are many issues related to waste management in Phnom Penh that need to be tackled, adding that local authorities do not yet have enough containers for each family​ to store waste correctly.

He added that Cambodians continue to use plastic in large quantities because of today’s needs and recycling waste to energy is a good way to deal with this issue. However, he thinks that companies and authorities should study the impact when companies emit waste or fumes from factories, as it can affect people’s health and the environment.

“If we have clear and proper management of this energy recycling project, it will be beneficial for all of us, but if it’s not well-managed, it will be an additional problem for our country,” Mala said.

“The government should raise taxes on plastic bags or any mechanism for people to reduce their consumption. Plastic bags on goods or any result that do not need to be replaced by using the basket to market cloth bags.”

He added that one of the best things the state can do is create a mechanism to ban plastic or encourage people to avoid using plastic.

Cambodia produces more than 10,000 tons of garbage every day and reaches more than four million tons in a single period. The total comprises about 60 percent of organic waste, 20 percent of plastic waste and about 10 percent of general waste, according to Neth Pheaktra, spokesman for the Ministry of Environment.

There are 213 landfills across the country, including 142 public and 70 private plots. The current urban and district waste generation growth is between 10 and 12 percent annually.