PATTAYA – Chonburi’s governor has launched an investigation into who is responsible for 30 more tons of hazardous hospital waste discovered at a controversial Khao Maikaew dumpsite.
Khao Maikaew Mayor Jamnien Kitipakul met March 2 with Santi Pancharoen, from the Chonburi Provincial Administration Organization, to discuss the continuing problem of infectious waste illegally stored at the site.
The 30 tons of used syringes, soiled tissue and other castoffs from hospitals and clinics in Pattaya had been left at the Khao Maikaew site since late 2016 and was stored outside under the sun instead of in a controlled environment as required by law.
Chonburi said the storage and the length of time it was stored were both illegal and the governor’s office formed a fact-finding committee to determine who ordered it dumped there and why it was left for so long.
The discovery came after Pattaya had cleared 120 tons of infectious waste that was dumped there from October through December, when Pattaya was trying to hire a new garbage hauler. After protests, the city spent millions of baht to remove it within 15 days.
The new discovery adds more salt to the wounds that Khao Maikaew residents feel Pattaya has inflicted upon them for decades. It was a resident uprising that forced the closure of the dump in 2013. Pattaya owned the land, however, and continued to use it as a trash-transfer station.
Unknown to residents, the city had struck a deal with Khao Maikaew to store up to 100 tons of medical waste there, but Pattaya broke the agreement by leaving 120 tons there for four months.
Pattaya also is pushing to create a new trash-processing facility and incinerator in Khao Maikaew, but everyone from the mayor on down is opposed, saying their community has been Pattaya’s trash can for too long and it is time for the booming resort city to find another place.