Glass adding to trash crisis – experts

PHUKET CITY: With the volume of trash generated in Phuket increasing almost 20% annually, Phuket is facing a waste disposal crises that needs immediate attention, experts told a seminar at the Phuket Provincial Office on January 28.

Monthip Srirattana Tabuganon, Deputy Director-General of Natural Resources and Environment Ministry’s Department of Environmental Quality Promotion led the meeting, much of which focused on the large amount of glass that needs to be disposed of in Phuket.

“Our research indicates that the most serious waste management problems involve organic waste, hazardous wastes and especially glass,” she said.

Pirayut Wannapruek, Chairman of Development of Environment and Energy Foundation (DEE), told the meeting that glass comprises at least 15% of the total waste stream, by weight.

Unlike many other provinces, prices for most grades of used glass were very low in Phuket, only about 20 satang per kilo, Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit said.

Glass cannot be incinerated and any glass entering the incineration stream at the Saphan Hin plant can damage the furnace, he added.

One positive development is that the Bangkok Glass Industry Co Ltd and its southern region subsidiary plan to set up 90 glass collection points around the island and are looking for a four-rai site to build a huge concrete collection basin, from which the glass will be sent to Bangkok for recycling.

The effort should increase the value of used glass to 90 satang per kilo, enough to ensure that most of it will no longer need to be landfilled.

It was also announced at the meeting that even with improved waste disposal methods the volume produced is expected to increase to 1,000 tons daily by 2013.

Cabinet recently approved budgets of 50 million baht to improve landfills at Saphan Hin and another 8 million baht to improve the island’s waste collection system, Gov Niran said.

Phuket News

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