Pattaya continues all-talk, no-action policy on Koh Larn trash crisis

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During low season, Koh Larn attracts about 3,000 visitors a day, but has drawn as many as 20,000 people daily during high season. In addition there are up to 8,000 permanent residents and workers on the island.
During low season, Koh Larn attracts about 3,000 visitors a day, but has drawn as many as 20,000 people daily during high season. In addition there are up to 8,000 permanent residents and workers on the island.

Pattaya officials again checked out Koh Larn’s garbage problem, but did nothing to solve it other than promise more talks later.

Former Chonburi Gov. Pracha Taerat, an official with the Interior Ministry who acts as an advisor to Pattaya’s mayor, led a city delegation to the island July 27 to see the resort island’s trash surplus for themselves and quiz sanitation workers on the scale of the problem.

Koh Larn has a dump site which is nearly 10 rai in size, but it has been overflowing for years, a problem that only worsened when trash barges to the mainland broke down.

During low season, Koh Larn has attracted about 3,000 visitors a day, but has drawn as many as 20,000 people daily during high season. In addition there are up to 8,000 permanent residents and workers on the island.

The majority of rubbish is waste from food and plastic containers, foam and glass bottles, according to trash collectors.

In all, the island generates up to 50 tons of garbage a day.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports president earlier budgeted 4 million baht for 2017 to hire a consultant to study the relationship between the number of tourists and the impact on the environment in order to determine the ideal number of daily visitors.

The university hired for the job also is studying ways to dispose of the rubbish without transporting it off the island. The final report, however, is not due until next summer.

In November, Pattaya officials, led by local National Council for Peace and Order commander and city councilman Col. Popanan Luengpanuwat surveyed the island, looking for ways to remove the excess trash.

Popanan said on-island elimination is preferred, as transporting all the rotting rubbish to the mainland only creates problems there. He left the island saying only that more work needs to be done by locals to separate garbage and recyclables until a final solution is found.

Pracha and his group said and did even less, promising only to bring up the subject at a future city council meeting.