Closure of refuse dump panics local bodies
NAKHON RATCHASIMA: The Nakhon Ratchasima municipality’s decision to close an ever-growing garbage dump site on Monday has sparked an outcry from local administrative bodies that depend on the dumping ground.
Deputy provincial governor Thanapol Chantaranimi called executives of local governing bodies and garbage management agencies to a meeting yesterday to discuss ways to tackle the growth of certain garbage sites in the province.
Representatives of 29 local bodies from Muang, Chalerm Phrakiat, Chok Chai, Chakkarat, Kham Thale So and Non Sung districts were present. Communities in these districts have no garbage dump sites of their own and have to dispose of their garbage at the dump site in the municipality. Each community generates about 130 tonnes of garbage a day on average.
Every day about 35 local bodies in the province dump more than 400 tonnes of garbage at the municipality’s waste disposal centre, said Netiwit Rerngsukpipat, director of the sanitation division which runs the centre.
But the centre can only dispose of half this amount on a daily basis, causing the waste to pile up rapidly. The situation has continued for about seven years, Mr Netiwit said.
He said the municipality had sent a circular to local bodies asking them to find ways to reduce the amount of garbage in their areas by 10% before sending it to the waste disposal unit, but this request was ignored.
The landfill that serves as a garbage dump site is now filled to capacity with more than 440,000 tonnes of garbage, Mr Netiwit said.
Unpleasant smells and dirty water from the site have caused a negative environmental impact on nearby communities, he said, adding that fires are also a risk at the site.
The atmosphere at the meeting grew tense as executives of the 29 local bodies expressed concern there would be nowhere to dispose of their garbage. Watcharapol Jonkoh, chief of the Tambon Ban Koh administrative organisation in Muang district, suggested that a better-equipped facility should be set up in the municipality to ease the problem.
Boonluea Charoenwat, deputy chief of the Nakhon Ratchasima municipality, said the municipality is drawing up a bidding announcement for its plan to build a 2-billion-baht garbage disposal facility. It is also working out contract details to invite private companies to invest.