A flagship yearly “Waste Summit” will be held in Phnom Penh this week to discuss the role of the informal sector in solid waste management in the country.
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Cambodia said in a news release on Thursday that proper disposal and management of solid waste remain challenging for Cambodia as the country is not yet well-equipped with modern technology, an efficient waste management system and public awareness.
“While Cambodia's urbanization is expanding quickly, waste is often not separated and recycled. It eventually just ends up at landfills across the country. Not only are resources being wasted, it is also hurting the environment, society, and the economy,” the release said.
Daniel Schmücking, Country Director of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Cambodia, said that often forgotten and not officially recognized, informal waste pickers, who are commonly known as adjai, and people working in the informal sector are the biggest contributors to Cambodia’s waste recycling efforts.
“We want to use our waste summit as a platform for problem-solvers, investors, startups and other relevant actors to address waste management and recycling issues,” Schmücking said.
The release added that the summit aims to gather all stakeholders. governmental institutions, line ministries, businesses, waste management organizations, local and international organizations, startups and communities to talk about waste, find solutions, and innovative ideas to manage it better.
The event, to be held on August 13 at the Factory Phnom Penh, will feature conferences, lectures, discussions, arts and exhibitions.
The release said the event will be held in close cooperation with other waste management groups, such as Composted, as well as GIZ Cambodia, EuroCham Cambodia and UNDP Cambodia.
Cambodia’s Minister of Environment Say Sam Al will also speak at the summit, followed by officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Banteay Meanchey province and Phnom Penh’s Dangkao landfill.