Public participation is the key to success for the campaign by the BMA to wipe out hazardous waste in the capital, say Huai Khwang and Kannayao district officials.
Many people realised that some household wastes were poisonous, but they did not want to take the time to sort and segregate toxic goods as they didn't know where to dispose of them, said Apiwan Kladpae, chief of the Public Cleansing and Public Parks Section of the Huai Khwang district office.
``After we tell them about the dangers of hazardous waste toward their health and environment, a
[disposal] service should be provided,'' she said.
The community campaign started early this year with a hazardous waste exchange market where residents could bring toxic household products to exchange for eggs.
The market at City Hall 2 in Din Daeng was successful in convincing residents that toxic wastes could not be disposed of by common means like other garbage, Ms Apiwan said.
The next step was for the district to designed its own measures to get rid of hazardous materials.
``There is no daily household hazardous waste collection,'' she said. ``So residents are asked to separate it from other household waste and keep it until the authorities come to collect it every two months.''
Hazardous waste from factories and department stores is collected once every month.
``The campaign cannot move forward if people refuse to lend a hand, so their sense of responsibility toward society and the environment must be created,'' Ms Apiwan said.
But first of all, district offices have to show a strong intent and commitment to hazardous waste management. Waste segregation also helps ease the burden of garbage sorters, she added.
In Huai Khwang, around three tonnes of hazardous waste were collected last year and the amount has doubled so far this year in response to greater public awareness of the need for proper treatment of dangerous goods.
Siriprapa Butphut, acting head of the Public Cleansing and Public Parks Section in the Kannayao district office, said that any campaign requires cooperation from all related sectors.
``Hazardous materials are increasing rapidly every year and there are only two staff overseeing waste management, so people's participation is a key to achieving success,'' she said.
The office places special containers for hazardous waste at the houses of community heads, and district staff come to empty them every month.
In Kannayao, nearly one tonne of hazardous waste is now collected every month.