2.9 billion baht requested for waste management

PHUKET (Gazette, The Nation): Phuket has requested a 2.9 billion baht budget from the central government to fund a four-year plan to manage waste disposal and water treatment on the island. The request includes an allocation of 1.3 billion baht to build a second incinerator.

The plan was discussed at a workshop at the Phuket Merlin Hotel chaired by Vice-Governor Worapoj Ratthasima. The workshop was also attended by Pollution Control Department (PCD) Deputy Director General Wichian Jungrung-reung and representatives of local tambon administration organizations (OrBorTor) and municipalities.

K. Wichian said the new plan involves preventative measures, rehabilitation and a public-awareness campaign that would take Phuket’s current development into consideration. Rubbish and wastewater will be key priorities of the plan.

Chief of Phuket Provincial Office of Natural Resources and Environment Aongart Chanachanmongkol told the Gazette that the 2.9 billion baht budget includes 1.3 billion baht for a second incinerator and the rest is allocated to wastewater treatment and other waste disposal and control measures.

“Now Phuket produces more than 500 tons of rubbish per day while the one incinerator we have can burn only 250 tons per day. The most urgent rubbish management measure we need to implement, though, is for local administration organizations to encourage people to separate their rubbish. That would be a great help. Now local administration organizations are helping to reduce the amount of wet rubbish [which reduces the efficiency of the incinerator] by using it to produce organic fertilizer,” K. Aongart explained.

K. Aongart emphasized that the 2.9 billion baht budget request has not yet been approved and they must wait for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) to consider the plan and decide how much money to grant.

“Another rubbish problem in Phuket now is that of construction refuse from development. We need all the help we can get,” K. Aongart appealed.

The PCD’s K. Wichian warned that with Phuket’s rising population and growing number of visitors, solving rubbish and wastewater problems would be a challenge.

Phuket News

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