Pattaya official thinks garbage figures are rubbish

Pattaya official thinks garbage figures are rubbish

Workers constantly rake the beach and take away tonnes of trash, most of it not generated locally but washed ashore. (Screen grab YouTube/Cheap Charlie Chronicles)
Workers constantly rake the beach and take away tonnes of trash, most of it not generated locally but washed ashore. (Screen grab YouTube/Cheap Charlie Chronicles)

Officials in Pattaya have called in the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to conduct an assessment of how much garbage accumulates in the resort city each day, after disputing figures supplied by a private firm.

The data, provided by the waste management firm, says the city generates 450 tonnes of garbage a day.

That total means the amount of waste had increased by 10% on last year.

"We don't know whether this is actually the fact," Pattaya Council president Anan Angkhanawisan said Wednesday after petitioning Pol Maj Gen Phop-anan Lueangphanuwat, who helps the NCPO keep order in Pattaya, for help in verifying the figures.

Pattaya spends more than 300 million baht on waste removal and disposal per year. On average it pays 1,600 baht for each tonne of garbage.

"Huge damage can occur to state coffers if garbage records are false," Mr Anan said.

At present, one person is responsible for recording the daily amount of garbage collected. That person is employed by a private waste management firm, he said.

Mr Anan said the employee had assured him the garbage company uses a computerised system to record the amount of daily garbage being loaded onto garbage trucks.

He said the employee also told him the information was secure and the firm has measures in place to prevent tampering with the information. Additionally, Mr Anan was told that city authorities were free to conduct their own checks.

However, Mr Anan was still not convinced. He said what worried him most was how the garbage was weighed.

What happens if water is not removed from soaked garbage before weighing, he added. This is an important issue because it involves budget spending and a detailed waste management plan in Pattaya, according to Mr Anan.

To clear up his doubts, he asked Pol Maj Gen Phop-anan, who is also deputy Pattaya Council president, to send in military officials, thetsakit city inspectors and legal experts to observe the weighing.

The inspection, scheduled to start Wednesday, will last a week to determine the average daily amount of garbage.

If the figures turn out to be less than those already provided, Pattaya officials will use the new information for budget spending plans, Mr Anan said.

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