September 5, 2022
BANGKOK – Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt and Miss Universe Thailand 2022 Anna Sueangam-iam kicked off a pilot project to separate recyclable garbage on Sunday.
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Miss Universe Thailand kicks off Bangkok trash separation scheme
Chadchart and Anna joined Bangkok officials and private sector representatives at the launch event held at Lumpini Park’s food court. The governor and beauty queen pulled back a green curtain to unveil a new garbage truck painted green with the wording “Don’t put them together”. The new hydraulic compacting truck has been modified from normal trucks by adding a special bin at the back and two at the front for food waste.
The pilot project will launch in three districts – Pathum Wan, Phaya Thai and Nong Khaem – before being rolled out in three phases.
The first phase from this month to October will see two types of garbage truck ply one route per district. The other type is a non-hydraulic truck that will be used exclusively to collect food waste.
The second phase from November to December will see the special trucks service other main routes in the three districts.
Then from January to March, the garbage trucks will collect food waste from all areas in the three districts.
The food waste will be sent to the Mechanical and Biological Waste Treatment plant in Onnut district to make biogas used to generate electricity.
Phase one will launch in Bangkok’s 47 remaining districts next year.
Anna was chosen as the “face” of the campaign after she was not shy to reveal that her parents are still working as Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) garbage collectors.
Chadchart said separating rotting food waste from garbage would aid efficiency at recycling plants. He explained that although Bangkokians already separated garbage, it was mixed up again by the old-style BMA trucks.
“So, the process must start upstream with households separating the garbage, to the midstream BMA collectors, and downstream when the separated garbage is systematically disposed of,” he said.
He said the BMA spends over 10 billion baht per year for garbage disposal compared with just 4 billion baht for free education.
He said the new campaign would bring huge savings while also turning garbage into an asset.
Hailing the launch as a historic day for the BMA, he said the project would gradually roll out city-wide. He added that the three pilot districts were chosen because they covered all types of city zones, including communities, markets, offices, and condominiums.
“After we are confident in our new garbage collecting system, we will be able to expand to other districts quickly,” Chadchart said.
Inefficient garbage disposal worsened the greenhouse gas problem, he added, while savings made from the new collection process could be used to improve care for children and the elderly.
He said the BMA was also considering providing better tools for road sweepers as well as foldable garbage pens for Bangkok residents. It was also planning to introduce incentives for residents to separate food waste from recyclable garbage.
“For example, the BMA may reduce their garbage collection fees or give them free compost every month”.
However, those who failed to separate food waste might be slapped with higher fees in line with the polluter pays principle (PPP).
BMA officials explained that Pathum Wan was selected because it produces more garbage than most other districts, while Phaya Thai district was selected as it generates relatively little trash.