Ministry To Explore Waste-To-Energy Alternatives

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The Ministry of Economic and Finance on Tuesday announced it is looking at processes of turning waste into energy as a partial solution to the country’s alarming levels of waste production.

Aun Pornmoniroth, the Minister of Economy and Finance, speaks at Digital Cambodia 2019. KT/Mai Vireak

In a meeting Tuesday officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Environment discussed solid waste management.

The officials agreed on several action plans, including drafting a strategy and a national policy to tackle waste management and doing more to enforce existing regulation.

The ministries also agreed to organise a campaign to raise public awareness on the issue, according to a statement issued after the meeting.

Exploring ways of turning trash into energy was one of the main discussion points, according to the statement.

“The country’s robust economic development coupled with a rapidly growing population means the amount of waste generated in urban centres, particularly Phnom Penh, is growing dramatically,” the ministry said.

Phnom Penh produces about 2,800 tonnes of garbage per day, with the amount of garbage generated every year growing at a rate of 10 to 13 percent, the ministry noted. “This figure is expected to continue growing unless effective measures are put in place.”

Prime Minister Hun Sen early this month encouraged citizens and private companies to use waste to generate electricity in a bid to protect the environment.

The premier suggested that companies be incentivised to turn waste into energy to avoid power shortages like the one Cambodia suffered earlier this year.

“But we will not import waste,” Mr Hun Sen said, noting that importing waste is illegal even if the aim is to turn it into energy.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.