Deputy PM launches recycling initiative

PHUKET TOWN: Deputy Prime Minister Pitak Intrawitayanunt launched a government initiative yesterday to sort and recycle trash in Phuket. Participants in a seminar at the Metropole Hotel discussed various ways to effectively dispose of trash to lighten the workload of the overburdened municipal incinerator at Saphan Hin. Khunying Chodchoy Sophonpanit, Chairperson of the Thai Environment & Community Development Association (TECDA), said, “Phuket produced about 289 tons of trash a day in 2001. Because of the rising number of people on the island, this will increase to 299 tons a day this year, and to 400 tons a day within five years. “Phuket’s only incinerator is being overworked in disposing of this large amount of trash,” she said, adding that the incinerator was originally designed to burn about 250 tons a day. “The increasing amount of wet rubbish, food scraps and leaves that aren’t removed by sorting before the trash is burned results in the incinerator using more fuel and taking longer to burn the trash. It also adds to environmental pollution and will lead to frequent breakdowns,” she explained. Deputy PM Pitak supported the project, adding, “Thailand’s economy is in crisis and we have a tight national budget. We should study the possibilities of all development projects clearly before taking action, otherwise we could lose money.” The initiative is expected to incorporate all facets of the community – including schools, hotels and local municipalities – to sort trash and to encourage recycling. Although details of the scheme have not yet been drafted, a reward system is expected to be part of it.

Phuket News
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