Pattaya firms want lower waste fees

Pattaya firms want lower waste fees

Infectious waste disposal costs rising

Pressing on: Workers in full protection gear clean and disinfect the press room at Parliament as part of tightened measures against the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Pressing on: Workers in full protection gear clean and disinfect the press room at Parliament as part of tightened measures against the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

A group of tourism business operators petitioned the Pattaya City mayor to consider lowering the rate of infectious waste handling fees, saying the rate charged in Pattaya is more than five times higher than in Bangkok.

As the volume of this particular type of waste surged during the Covid-19 outbreak, with used face masks being counted as infectious waste as well, the costs of having infectious waste dealt with are escalating, said the group led by Thanet Suphonsahatrangsi, acting president of Chon Buri's tourism council.

There have now been 21 hotels in Pattaya and other parts of Chon Buri taking part in the government Covid-19 quarantine programme, said the group in a letter submitted to Sontaya Khunpluem, the Pattaya mayor.

However, while the about 133 alternative local quarantine (ALQ) and alternative state quarantine (ASQ) facilities in Bangkok are paying only 5 baht per kilogramme of such infectious waste, their counterparts in Chon Buri are paying 28 baht/kg, said the group.

That cost Chon Buri-based operators the ability to compete with their counterparts in Bangkok, said the group.

Mr Sontaya said he understood the situation and would next discuss with the parties concerned regarding the possibility of lowering the infectious waste handling rates for these local operators.

Previously on Wednesday, Kriangpol Phattanarat, managing director of Krungthep Thanakom Co, said the company has added five more routes of waste-transport routes to the 30 routes it has now for the sake of better coverage.

The additional routes are intended for transporting Covid-19 infectious waste in particular, he said.

The 30 routes the company runs now normally serve more than 5,000 hospitals, about 200 of which now have Covid-19 infectious waste, he said.

The company aims to never let Covid-19 infectious waste left unhandled for more than one day, he said.

Aside from hospitals treating Covid-19 patients, at least five hotels in Bangkok have now become so-called Covid-19 hospitels, he said.

The number of such hospitels is expected to rise, so as the volume of infectious waste associated with Covid-19, he said.

The outbreak is estimated to cause the volume of waste the company handles to rise to between 60 and 70 tonnes a day, up from 50 to 60 tonnes a day it handles normally, he said.

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