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Phuket

Work on new Phuket incinerator to start next month

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana has confirmed that the construction of Phuket’s long-awaited second solid waste incinerator is to begin next month, while a 43-million-baht project to improve the surrounding landfill is now complete.

“Construction of the new plant was delayed because the original plans had be to modified for the incinerator to pass the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process, but now they are ready and construction will begin in late July. It should be finished by December next year,” Mayor Somjai told the Gazette.

According to a Phuket City Municipality press release issued on June 5, the 43-million-baht project has just been completed and will help alleviate Phuket’s mounting solid waste problem.

Residents on the island currently generate about 500 tonnes of trash daily, but the existing incinerator at Saphan Hin can only dispose of about half that amount.

The rest goes into five landfill plots covering around 120 rai around the incinerator. In use since 1993, the landfill already harbors about a million tonnes of trash up to 15 meters thick in some locations, five meters below the ground and 10 meters above. Both the incinerator and landfills are run by Phuket City Municipality, but must accept trash from all 20 local administrative districts on the island.

The landfill improvement project, just completed by Boonchai Panich (1979) Co Ltd, took 400 days to finish from its starting date in April last year. Workers extended three landfills to boost their capacity, while sealing off a fourth plot that was full to capacity and re-arranging a fifth plot so it can accommodate more waste. The project also included the installation of a drainage system and waste water-treatment plant.

The project ended May 6 this year, but despite boosting the total landfill capacity by an extra 110,000 tonnes, authorities expect the entire landfill to be filled to capacity within about one year.

That stark realization prompted the Phuket Provincial Trash Management Committee to invoke a new policy requiring all 20 local administrations to ensure trash is separated at the point of collection, thereby reducing the volume of trash that reaches the incinerator.

Brought into effect at a meeting on May 27, the new policy was coupled with a directive ordering local administrations to form a provincial Nature and Environment Protection Volunteer Network with “branches” in each of the local administrations’ areas of authority. The network is to teach and promote trash separation and recycling to local residents.

Each local administration is also to set up designated trash-separation centers in their areas of control.

Under the new policy, residents are to separate their trash into recyclable materials, organic waste and hazardous materials, all ready for separate collection by local garbage men.

Penalties for residents not separating their trash are still being considered, as are any new fees that may be introduced to cover the cost of fitting out the garbage trucks so that trash can be collected in a way that separation is maintained.

A big problem in the past has been that trash sorted at curbside has mixed back together by garbage men during the collection process. The problem reduces efficiency at the incinerator because organic waste contains a great deal of water vapor, which lowers the burning temperature and results in lost electric power production, incomplete combustion and higher levels of chemical pollutants released into the atmosphere.

The presence of wet waste, particularly common during the rainy season, causes the same problems.

Local administrations are now studying what penalties and fees may be levied for non-compliance with the new policies and will present their findings to the Phuket Provincial Trash Management Committee for further consideration.

— S. Nongkaew & S. Fein

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For travellers to Phuket, testing is out, quarantine is in

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong (via Facebook)

The on-again-off-again plans for testing people for Covid-19 as they arrive in Phuket will be replaced by quarantine after May 15, according to Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong’s latest announcement. In an online video broadcast last night, the vice governor confirmed the new scheme after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew first mentioned it in an executive meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

There are now 25 provinces on the Phuket red zone list that they instated on April 22, with anyone arriving from those places required to have proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 72 hours. Without proof, people have to take a rapid antigen test to confirm they did not have Covid-19 before they would be allowed on the island. The test was first set to be 300 baht for everyone, and later controversially made free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

There had been some back and forth with budget concerns of being able to provide the mass testing and who would pay how much for continued testing. Perhaps requiring people to quarantine in Phuket is cheaper than testing them when they arrive (cheaper for Phuket officials anyway).

The original scheme was set to expire May 15, and announcements were made about extending the plan and stopping testing right away. For now, this debate seems to have settled on replacing the testing with a mandatory quarantine upon entering Phuket.

The vice-governor explained that the rapid antigen test will continue through May 14, and then starting May 15, anyone who arrives without a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Phuket will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They set a goal of zero new infections by the end of the next two weeks. And he stated they are committed to doing whatever it takes as “Phuket cannot continue with this risk”.

Speaking to The Phuket News… “We want to send a sign to the country that we are cleaning up our province. The 3 vice governors [in Phuket] have been ordered to take care of each district by cooperating with local administration officers as well as community leaders to do proactive screening,”

After announcing the quarantine plan for Phuket, the vice governor spoke confidently that in the near future the island will have enough jabs to vaccinate every person on the island. Religious leaders from any faith are currently being vaccinated because of their general proximity to people during religious ceremonies and practices.

Vice Governor Piyapong pled with people with the people of Phuket who were on the fence about Covid-19 vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, or those otherwise resisting getting the jabs needed to reach herd immunity.

“If you are still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, please come to get vaccinated”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Phuket

We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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