Pattaya waste project under fire

Pattaya waste project under fire

Wasting away: Officials work to clear up garbage at an unused landfill of 140-rai in Khao Mai Kaeo in Chon Buri.
Wasting away: Officials work to clear up garbage at an unused landfill of 140-rai in Khao Mai Kaeo in Chon Buri.

PATTAYA: Pattaya municipality is eyeing an unused landfill at Khao Mai Kaeo as a site for building an incinerator, but local officials overseeing the area appear reluctant to welcome this new waste management project.

The incinerator has been recently proposed as a solution to over 1,000 tonnes of daily garbage generated in Pattaya municipality, Bang Lamung and Sattahip districts, which are under the supervision of 16 local administrative bodies.

Eleven of them supported the idea proposed at a recent meeting, but five local officers, including those from Khao Mai Kaeo, did not attend the event.

"This seems to be a signal of disagreement with the new garbage plan," Pattaya Council chairman Anan Angkhanawisan said on Saturday.

In his view, the old landfill at Khao Mai Kaeo in Bang Lamung district is the "right place" to build the incinerator, but the location can be changed if the new facility is not approved by local officials, he said.

A construction site requires only 30 rai of land and it can be in an area to which rubbish from Pattaya, Bang Lamung and Sattahip can be easily transported, Mr Anan said.

But if Khao Mai Kaeo officials do not reject the incinerator, officials will go ahead with a plan to turn the landfill into a new garbage disposal system, he said.

The first thing they have to do is to remove and dispose of existing garbage left in the landfill, he said. "We need to have a talk [with the Khao Mai Kaeo office] to find way out together," Mr Anan said.

The incinerator project has been suggested by King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok which estimates a budget of up to one billion baht would be needed to build the machine and other facilities.

They include a system to press garbage into "capsule" shapes before burning to reduce environmental impact and provide convenience for transport. Heat from the incinerator can also be used to produce 12 megawatts of electricity.

Meanwhile, Chao Nokyu, an expert of the Pollution Control Department, insisted the black foul water which spread along about 100 metres of Bang Sale beach in Sattahip district was not discharged from the wastewater treatment facility run by Bang Sale municipality.

He blamed stormwater during recent downpours for causing overflows from a wastewater pond which is connected to sewers in communities. The water which was heavily tainted with black sediment drifted into the sea.

It then became "dead water" because sea water did not carry the sediments away from the coast but blocked it at Bang Sale beach, Mr Chao said. Environmental officials have collected samples of the black water for inspection, he added.

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