Even thought Pattaya was ordered in February to resolve problems with an overflowing waste-transfer station on Sukhumvit Soi 3, a fix is more than a year away, a city councilman said.
Responding to increased complaints about the trash-sorting facility turned dumpsite, Choluek Chotekamjorn admitted Pattaya still has no alternative location to dispose of its rubbish, and won’t for at least 12 months.
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 since then, the operation has continued and the trash pile only has grown.
Pattaya officials ordered another cleanup in May 2014 with little effect. In January this year, residents renewed their campaign against the dump and, in February, Assistant Interior Minister Sanitwong Na Ayutthaya inspected the facility and ordered city officials to quickly and immediately prepare a plan and budget to solve the problem.
Pattaya City Hall apparently has a different definition of “quickly”.
Choluek said May 3 the council has approved 5 million baht to improve the waste-management system and reduce the amount of pollution in Pattaya, but doesn’t have an alternative dump site to use.
He said the city still has hopes of reopening its former 140-rai landfill in Khao Maikaew, but chances of that happening are slim-to-none.
In 2012, neighbors there started barricading the entrance to the dump to protest extra-stinky garbage deposits from Koh Larn. Intermittent blockades became temporary closures which became a permanent closure in late 2013.
Although the 140-rai facility has been closed for four years, 30 of those rai are still covered in ancient trash, a lingering sore point among locals.
Choluek said Pattaya is looking at another landfill area in Sukhumvit Soi 3 – which would do nothing to appease Ban Rongmai Ke-ed Community residents –or could begin dumping its garbage at the Bangkok Waste Disposal Center. However, the Bangkok facility would cost the city an additional 600 million baht.
He said Pattaya eventually will hire a private contractor to manage its waste-management, but that process will take a year or more.