City wants new contractor, but has been slow to act
Pattaya will reluctantly extend the contract of the company responsible for picking up and disposing the city’s garbage because it didn’t prepare to find a replacement in time.
Mayor Anan Charoenchasri told an Aug. 14 meeting on Pattaya’s waste-management issues that the 553-million-baht contract with the Environmental Conservation Organization ends on Oct. 31. But the city has not yet started to find a replacement, even though city hall is unhappy with the company’s work and thinks it has been paying far too much over the past five years.
Sutee Tapnonghee, the director of Pattaya’s Environmental Department, said the city has been using the same firm for the past seven years to both run 26 garbage trucks around the city as well as the Sukhumvit Soi 3 sorting facility that has morphed into the city’s de facto dump, much to the dismay of its neighbors.
But he said the Environmental Conservation Organization not only is not running enough vehicles to meet current demand, but the equipment is old and broken down. Representatives of the Environmental Conservation Organization said it will not replace or upgrade its equipment, however, unless its gets another Pattaya contract.
City officials seem set on simply finding a better garbage man instead of being held hostage by the one it has.
One reason for that is the growing controversy over the Sukhumvit Soi 3 sorting facility, which three city council members said needs to be solved.
Thanet Supornsahatrangsi, Chakorn Kanchawattana and Saksit Yaemsri said the trash surplus at the facility continues to grow as top city officials decide what to do about the contractor. A decision needs to be made on whether to replace Environmental Conservation Organization or force the company to make improvements.
The sorting station has stunk up the Krathing Lai neighborhood since 2008. Residents long have said that every time they complain dump workers only take measures that alleviate the smell for a short time. Many residents feel ill and have developed respiratory problems because of the fumes.
Residents were told then that the garbage operator’s lease would not be renewed when it came up for renewal in 2012, but it was for seven years. Anan said the contract was later shortened to four years and 11 months.
Pattaya City Council Chairman Anan Ankanawisan said he and the mayor are aware of the Soi 3 dump issue and are monitoring it. He said, however, that given impending change in contractors, Environmental Conservation Organization has not made any improvements.
Mayor Anan said the city did demand improvements on Soi 3, but the contractor doesn’t have the staff or equipment to make it happen.