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Toxic waste collection drive in Phuket

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PHUKET: A special tent has been set up at Saphan Hin as a collection point for toxic waste materials for safe, off-island disposal.

The project, started on Monday, invites households, businesses and government organizations to bring any and all toxic waste to the tent, located near the basketball gymnasium.

Light bulbs, batteries of all sorts, toxic packaging and other dangerous materials not suitable for incineration are being accepted for free disposal, which is being organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Phuket office under a 236,000-baht budget.

Collection will end next Monday.

On Tuesday, all collected waste will be trucked to a toxic waste reduction plant operated by General Environmental Conservation Public Co Ltd (Genco) and certified by the Department of Industrial Works (DIW) in Bangkok.

Prasit Yoetharak, chief of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO) Disaster Preparedness and Environmental Planning Division, explained that the collected waste must be sent to Bangkok because there are no DIW-certified plants in the southern region.

“We expect to collect about six tons of such waste by the time the truck leaves Saphan Hin at 9am, after a brief ceremony presided over by PPAO President Paiboon Upatising,” he said.

Those who find it inconvenient to travel to Saphan Hin should bring toxic household waste to the PPAO offices or the offices of their local administrative body, either a tambon administration office or municipality. These are required to accept such waste year-round.

The Gazette reminds readers to sort toxic waste such as batteries separately from household waste and organic waste.

Failure to do so could lead to the materials being incinerated or landfilled at Saphan Hin, causing a release of heavy metals into the air or local waterways.

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

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