Koh Larn sanitation chief glosses over trash crisis

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Koh Larn’s trash problems are being handled with hopes that the island’s massive garbage backlog could be eliminated by 2020, Pattaya business leaders were told.
Koh Larn’s trash problems are being handled with hopes that the island’s massive garbage backlog could be eliminated by 2020, Pattaya business leaders were told.

Koh Larn’s trash problems are being handled with hopes that the island’s massive garbage backlog could be eliminated by 2020, Pattaya business leaders were told.

The Pattaya Business & Tourism Association moved its monthly meeting to Koh Larn on Aug. 17 to see for itself the extent of the resort island’s trash crisis and what is being done to resolve it. Island sanitation chief Itthiphol Nethiyakub Sing­kornkaew glossed over the severity of the problem, telling members not to worry, it’s all being handled.

Itthiphol acknowledged Koh Larn has been overrun with both garbage and sewage-management problems, but claimed measures approved in recent months by the Pattaya City Council are inching toward enactment and will work to solve the problem.

Itthiphol said some projects are in the procurement phase while some are at the contract-signing point. In the case of hauling away Koh Larn’s garbage backlog, the terms and prices for a contractor have been set and are moving toward the bidding stage.

He said that once a contractor is hired, the entire backlog can be removed within a year.

Itthiphol quickly shifted his focus away from the long-running trash crisis and the bureaucratic red tape slowing down its resolution to other efforts that have more impact on public relations than the real problem.

He said the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources is working with businesses and residents to plant coral to offset the damage done by tourists, particularly sea walker activities popular with Chinese and Korean tourists.

He also said a campaign has been launched to encourage businesses to do a better job of separating trash from recyclables, suggesting the effort would be more effective if city hall dispatched officers to enforce it. Itthiphol also suggested installing containers to hide trash from tourists’ view.