Bangkok canals clogged with tonnes of rubbish

Bangkok canals clogged with tonnes of rubbish

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) collected close to 400,000 tonnes of garbage in canals across the capital over the past five years, the Department of Drainage and Sewerage says.

Between 2015 and 2019, the BMA collected 387,261 tonnes of trash from 948 canals across Bangkok, Sansern Ruengrit, chief of the department's Hydrology Division, said. "This garbage come from two sources -- overflowing garbage bins with trash falling into the canals and from factories and residents who throw debris into the canals intentionally," Mr Sansern said. The garbage collected ranged from disposable plastic items to mattresses and even mosquito nets, he said. Some of it also is known to pose a threat to the drainage system.

Mr Sansern added that even though the BMA regularly sends officials to collect the debris, the waste continues to pollute the water, and worse yet, clogs the drainage system.

Asst Prof Cheema Soralump, a lecturer on environmental engineering at Kasetsart University's Faculty of Engineering, said big cities like Bangkok should have a campaign to raise awareness on recycling as well as projects on teaching people how to recycle. "The BMA should teach people not to throw garbage in waterways. But most of all, it should teach households how to sort out and recycle waste."

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