Koh Larn’s festering trash surplus hits 30,000 tons

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Koh Larn’s long-running garbage problem continues to worsen, with the Pattaya island’s trash surplus now estimated at 30,000 tons and rising.

Residents on Sept. 2 complained to authorities about the noxious odor from the refuse piling up at Saem Beach. The smell and filth has affected locals and the environment, and there appears to be no solution on the horizon.

Koh Larn’s long-running garbage problem continues to worsen, with the Pattaya island’s trash surplus now estimated at 30,000 tons and rising.
Koh Larn’s long-running garbage problem continues to worsen, with the Pattaya island’s trash surplus now estimated at 30,000 tons and rising.

Anan Angkanwisan, chairman of the Pattaya City Council, accompanied by Banglamung authorities and the military, visited Koh Larn for a public hearing where they were greeted by Cha­walit Praditpaluehat, acting director of the island’s administrative office, and representatives from the community.

Chawalit told city officials that 5 million visitors a year now visit Koh Larn and the number of local businesses has increased to serve them, fueling the long-running trash-disposal dilemma.

In the past, 15-20 tons of garbage was hauled away each day by barge, but the island now is producing nearly 50 tons of trash a day. Some barges have broken down and the one left in service can handle at most 24 tons a day, he said.

In response, officials opened a temporary dump on 12 rai of land on Khao Nom, near Saem Beach. The hillside landfill now holds 30,000 tons of waste.

Island authorities requested funds to repair the barges, but their request was never approved. In the interim, they’ve sprayed the garbage every three days to keep the smell down, but it hasn’t worked well enough for those living and working nearby.

Anan said the city council will hold a meeting on the trash crisis and agree on short-, medium-, and long-term solutions.

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