Bangkok Post

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.

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