Garbage piles up at Krathinglai sorting yard after Pattaya fails to reopen Khao Maikaew dump

Friday, 29 November 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 48 By  Phasakorn Channgam

Krathinglai residents again are pleading with city officials to do something about the putrid odors emitting from the city’s garbage-separation station.

More than 1,200 tons of rubbish have accumulated at the Soi Sukhumvit 3 facility after Khao Maikaew permanently closed the city’s main dump. Pattaya officials said they began looking for a new landfill site in September and have left the refuse to rot in Krathinglai since, infuriating neighbors.

Pattaya City Councilman Amnuai Somphongtham, who represents the neighborhood, said Krathinglai’s village chief sent a letter to Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome complaining about the increasingly foul odor emanating from the yard and promised, once again, to knock down the smell.

Chief of garbage transport Nattapol Theeerawutworawet (left) explains the current situation to city officials.Chief of garbage transport Nattapol Theeerawutworawet (left) explains the current situation to city officials.

Village residents staged a protest in March, complaining that the Pattaya Muang Sa-ad Joint Venture-operated facility has stunk up their neighborhood for five years. At the time, Muang Sa-ad Manager Pornlert Prittiannant said renovations were being made to the front of the station that would prevent some odor from escaping into the community. Deputy Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn also promised to dispatch Pattaya Public Health Department to spray disinfectant to clear the smell, at least temporarily.

Apparently, either those measures weren’t taken or have had no effect.

As in March, the problem stems with Pattaya’s year-long dispute with Khao Maikaew, where 400 tons of Pattaya trash goes a day. Late last year neighbors started barricading the entrance to the dump to protest extra-stinky garbage deposits from Koh Larn. At the time, community leaders insisted all waste come from mainland Pattaya only, not the island, as its long transport makes the rotting trash even more pungent.

Intermittent blockades became temporary closures which became a permanent closure. Pattaya politicians in September said they inked agreements with the Najomtien and Laem Chabang sub-districts to share their dumps, but two months later, those agreements remain just one more broken promise.

Amnuai now says the city is close to agreements with Laem Chabang and Sriracha to take the city’s backed-up trash. But, he said, Sriracha officials are insisting Pattaya manage that district’s garbage if it wants to use that district’s dump. Pattaya officials so far have balked.

The councilman tried to assuage angry residents by pledging that, despite the current obstacles, the problem would be resolved by the end of November.

In the interim, chief of garbage transport Nattapol Theeerawutworawet said city workers will try a new germicide and deodorizer that is hoped to work better than earlier treatments of the Krathinglai facility. Spraying will be done each time a new load is piled on the existing backlog, he said.

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