Burning garbage stinks up Patong

PATONG: The stench of burning garbage has brought increasing complaints from tourists in Patong – and so far very little appears to have been done to fix the problem. Wolfgang Meusburger, General Manager of the Holiday Inn Resort, told the Gazette today that his guests had been complaining since December about the trash being burned near the Patong Wastewater Treatment Plant about twice a week. “The wind blows [the smoke] all over Patong and guests can smell it at the beach, or when sitting at our pool or restaurant,” he said. “I sent letters to Patong Municipal Office and the Sanitary Department of the Municipality of Patong and to Governor Pongpayome Vasaputi 10 days ago, but I haven’t had an answer yet.” Asnee Kankeaw, Resident Manager of the Holiday Inn Resort said, “Why do they burn garbage in the middle of a tourist town? Some days the wind blows the smelly clouds all over Patong and it is impossible to sit on the room balconies.” The Mayor of Patong, Surasak Maneesri, told the Gazette, “I have ordered the officer in charge to deal with the problem and I understand that they have stopped the burning already.” He was surprised when the Gazette confirmed that the garbage was, in fact, still burning. “Really? How come? I have ordered officers to stop it. However I will check and make sure it is stopped.” Asked why garbage was being burned in Patong rather than being taken to the Saphan Hin incinerator in Phuket Town, Mayor Surasak answered, “Most of what’s being burned is wood and dead trees which are too big to take to Phuket Town.” He seemed unaware that, in fact, most of the garbage being burned was household waste in black plastic bags. Repeated attempts to contact Paanjit Triyaputanont, Director of Patong’s Health and Environment Department, were unsuccessful.

Phuket News
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