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Financial incentives ‘needed to reduce garbage’


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Financial incentives ‘needed to reduce garbage’
By Pratch Rujivanarom
The Nation

 

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City residents not separating waste

 

BANGKOK: -- INCREASING amounts of garbage require the development of more incentives and collective action from all stakeholders, an academic has said amid worsening problems.

 

Thailand has suffered many problems related to garbage. An annual report on the garbage situation by the Pollution Control Department (PCD) shows that people generate more waste every year and keep breaking disposal records, which has led to multiple issues such as improper waste management, garbage problems in the sea and other problems.

 

Ahead of World Environment Day today, Thammasat University lecturer Pracha Koonnathamdee suggested that all stakeholders from ordinary people to the authorities should take action to improve garbage management system.

 

“Right now we don’t have a strong awareness or incentives on waste segregation and proper waste management among people and the authorities. People just throw unwanted items in the bin and authorities collect the waste and put it in a landfill somewhere, so the garbage problem gets heavier and heavier,” Pracha said.

 

“The easiest way for authorities tackle the garbage problem is to burn it, which causes serious environmental problems if plants are built in the wrong location.”

 

His remarks reflected statistics on annual waste generation in the PCD report showing 27 million tonnes of 

 garbage was generated in Thailand last year, compared to 26.85 million tonnes in 2015 and 23.93 million tonnes in 2008. 

 

The report also showed that people were generating more rubbish, averaging 1.14 kilograms per day in 2016.

 

Meanwhile, the government’s 20-year strategy for waste management referred to private investment in waste-to-energy plants. However, many waste-to-energy plants plans face strong resistance from local people such as in Sam Khok in Pathum Thani and existing waste-to-energy plants like those in Phuket and Hat Yai have had many complaints related to pollution.

 

Pracha said there were also differences between waste management in the urban and rural areas. 

 

People in the countryside tended to have better organic waste management because they composted it for fertiliser, while residents in cities tended |generate more waste because they rarely separate organic waste from other garbage.

 

“If we focus on garbage reduction, we should increase incentives for the people to reduce, reuse and recycle by using financial inducements, as we can see that there are no plastic or glass bottles left strewn around because these bottles can be sold for money,” he said.

 

Pracha said a simple model would be for the government to issue a placing a surcharge on plastic bags to cut down on their usage. He said people used plastic bags lavishly because they were free, but if the government added a bag surcharge, consumers would naturally use fewer.

 

A similar incentive relying on financial inducements could also apply to local authorities responsible for waste management in their area, as the government could encourage proper management by rewarding the localities with budget allocations.

 

PCD head Jatuporn Buruspat said the waste management policy relied on local authorities who were in charge of waste management in their areas, while the PCD acted as a regulator to reduce the garbage in the first place and ensure proper waste management.

 

“We have been working on a campaign to increase awareness among people to lower their waste by practising the 3Rs [reduce, reuse and recycle] and we have slowly gained more support, as the statistics show that more waste has been reused or managed well,” Jatuporn said.

 

“The department is considering drafting a new law to support the 3R campaign to make it more concrete. However, sustainable growth of the 3R campaign must start at home, while authorities have a duty to assist the |public and raise awareness.” He said the department planned to encourage a reduction of the use of plastic, such as seals on bottle caps, which could be banned, to cut waste and save money.

 

In the business sector, Tanin Buranamanit, managing director at CP All Plc, said his company had tried to support efforts to reduce waste, including a 2015 CP All campaign “Click Off” in partnership with Thammasat University, which charged Bt1 for each plastic bag sold in 7-Eleven outlets on campus. The effort reduced bag usage by 80 per cent, he said. 

 

“The plastic waste has been proven to be one of the reasons behind climate change, so we do our part by trying to encourage people to reduce plastic bag usage. It is not too hard for us all to work together to assure a healthy environment for our next generations.”

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30317188

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-06-05
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Got to any shop here and plastic bags come at you from all directions, go to a shop in the civilised world and customers take their own bags or pay for a new one at a high rate. So simple to introduce and police, but it appears not around here. I would say most locals do not know or even care about climate change by their actions.

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There is no easy way to tackle garbage (rubbish). You need to spend money to divide the waste into recycle or to make inert.

In a country like Thailand, most waste is made at near sea level, making refuse burying almost impossible.

 I agree that plastic bags are a huge problem, every one seems to think, the used bags will just go away.

I place all rubbish in the provided bins, I have no idea what happens to my garbage. Bring in Cleanaway, a company that I have shares in. lol 

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I guess you will se a raise in the tonnes of garbage in countries that deal with heavy tourism, and also do not have a system implemented for the population to handle it. Here the awareness also plays a big factor, when the country´s own people don´t know how to tech their children how to dispose garbage. On the other hand I just guess that´s a problem that emerge when they not even can put up enough trash cans. Sometimes you just have to walk 2 kilometer to find one.

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12 minutes ago, wakeupplease said:

Got to any shop here and plastic bags come at you from all directions, go to a shop in the civilised world and customers take their own bags or pay for a new one at a high rate. So simple to introduce and police, but it appears not around here. I would say most locals do not know or even care about climate change by their actions.

Yes wake up, I am back. You are right, plastic bags are overwhelming Thailand. Climate change is confusing to many Thais. They are not taught this anywhere. 

It is not that Thais do not care, most Thais do care about the land and the environment, especially in rural areas. It is the over populated cities that have trouble because

no reliable collection and no basic education. 

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The 38 billion baht being spent on subs would buy a few recycling plants, a clean country will attract more tourists than subs and the end product can be put into building, infrastructure projects.

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2 hours ago, spiderorchid said:

most Thais do care about the land and the environment, especially in rural areas

Rural areas? Please explain. There is no environmental awareness in the rural areas I have seen. In our area there is no garbage pickup. The people burn their garbage or dump it in the national forest. They never compost. I found it interesting the government wants the villages to have garbage pickup but the people have successfully fought against the idea. People use herbicides to landscape their yard. Burning fields and forests is such an acute problem that it creates a smog with serious health impact much of the year. And nothing happens. And no one cares. I can't think of one environmental aspect that the rural areas care about. There is recycling, but that is only because they are being handed money, not because they care about the environment.

 

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would have thought burning the trash at very high temperatures is the answer. sorting the trash is labor intensive but labor is cheap. it is environmentally friendly and the ash is a building material that can be used in cement products. i am guessing the initial investment is the stumbling block.

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32 minutes ago, missoura said:

Common site at many National Parks in Thailand.

GEO_1291.JPG

That picture is a bit unfair as the people have clearly not left yet! They are just about to have their picnic and possibly brought all their rubbish with them...

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Climate change and environmental problems are taught in most Thai schools. I've worked in quite a few and there were always projects going on in geography and science classes. The problem is that these were wealthy schools so the kids were out of touch with reality. They probably just handed any waste to maids who would dispose of it.

 

We can teach kids in the classroom but it has to be applied to the real world. I went on a day trip recently with a bus load of Thais and part of the day was spent cleaning up litter in Lopburi city centre. So Thai's are aware but seem to struggle to apply anything learned to their own lives. So ,as usual the main problem is the lack of critical thinking skills taught in the education system. Thais can learn about something but lack the ability to apply it their own world...

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4 hours ago, spiderorchid said:

Yes wake up, I am back. You are right, plastic bags are overwhelming Thailand. Climate change is confusing to many Thais. They are not taught this anywhere. 

It is not that Thais do not care, most Thais do care about the land and the environment, especially in rural areas. It is the over populated cities that have trouble because

no reliable collection and no basic education. 

Excuse me, BUT...I suppose you have never driven through the North, where I can show you endless piles of garbage, thrown along the roadside...! 'Care about the environment'...? I guess that's why they continue to burn rice fields  three times a year, rice plants burning chaff; one in back of my house in Phan, firing off six times a day...! It's disgusting. Thais, as far as I can tell, don't give a rats ass about the environment. It's the, ME, ME, ME, mentality...! Unless something effects them in a very 'in their face' situation, nothing else matters. Come see me in Phan, I'll give you a personal tour...! Care about the environment....? Give me a break.

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In my village, about 6 months ago, 4 different coloured waste bins suddenly appeared; one each for food, plastic, bottles and hazardous waste.  I thought, "That's a good start".  After a few weeks, all bins were still empty, but eventually, people got the idea, and I saw the odd person putting rubbish into them.  I usually walk my dogs past the bins, so I checked the contents, and sure enough, everything in the correct bin.  

 

One day, the refuse wagon pulled up, and seeing that there was rubbish in each bin, proceeded to empty them into the back of the wagon, thus mixing the contents with the normal household rubbish.

 

The bins are still there, but empty; the novelty of a new system wore off pretty quickly.

 

The moral of the story - "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."

Edited by Moti24
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1 hour ago, missoura said:

Education is the key.

 

And a big-ass fine for littering is a great education tool.  Probably the best ever conceived.

 

I'd like to say we do better back home (and we do), but it's often just the threat of a big fine, along with a high probability of getting caught that keeps a lot of our beaches clean.  

 

And the $250,000 machine that rakes up the garbage and grooms the beaches regularly...

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The recycling initiative here actually allows some to earn a living. I keep all recyclables and once a month I get 600 bht (more or less) for my efforts.

 

The problem is things like plastic bags for which there is no recycling solutions. Were there I would be the first to stop throwing them in the bin.

 

I really would love to see education bear fruit. In Canada, 45 years ago, we implemented laws to clean our waterways. It worked... hope some day this kind of action can be implemented here, but sadly I doubt it.

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Yes, Municipal Solid Waste is a problem,!

But there are solutions!

It's possible to turn organic biodegradable waste (60-65 % of the Thai waste) into sanitized declared compost fertilizer and electricity. And it takes around 1 kg of combustible dry waste, like plastic, textile and other, to produce 1 liter of "High Speed Diesel oil"

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The usual 'This is Thailand' it will never get better posts. Really, if it is so awful, the airport is nearby.

 

Yes, Thailand has a waste problem. But this is because the modern world has exploded in Thailand recently and society is still trying to catch up. The big infrastructure things are being  done (eventually) it is just because rubbish is not top of most people's agenda. Back in the 19th century, European and American cities were filthy, disgusting places. Thank god they didn't have plastic bags back then or it would have been horrific. Municipal waste collection in those countries started in the mid 19th century, but only because of disease fears. It took a hundred and fifty years to get to where it is today, so give it time.

 

What do you do with your waste if you live in an isolated community? Dump it. I saw that when drilling for oil. No one brought a dump truck to collect from the site.

 

In rural areas in Thailand, there are still problems. Either no rubbish collection or too expensive. To a poor rice farmer, who just makes money once a year and mainly lives a subsistence life style, paying 50-100 baht a month doesn't make sense. They are just wondering where their next meal is coming from. But, things are improving. In my village 8 years ago there was the usual plastic bag or other rubbish about every metre by the side of the road. In the old days when disposal bags, drinks containers and plastic straws did not exist, there wasn't a problem, everything was biodegradable or valuable enough to recycle. Now, the village does monthly clean ups and most people use the waste collection service, Roadside rubbish is down about 75%. Fly tipping is still a problem, but it also is in the west.

 

What it needs is a proper integrated waste service, not collect and dump, but sorted (preferably BEFORE collection) recycled or used as energy. And education, education. It will get there, eventually.

 

It is just like the gardens in the village. 8 years ago, apart from a few larger shrubs, you saw very few flowers. Now half a dozen houses have lawns, flower beds or numerous pots. The more affluent owners have updated their houses and are starting to take pride in their surroundings. Only Thais in the village full time apart from myself.

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On ‎6‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 4:28 AM, wakeupplease said:

Got to any shop here and plastic bags come at you from all directions, go to a shop in the civilised world and customers take their own bags or pay for a new one at a high rate. So simple to introduce and police, but it appears not around here. I would say most locals do not know or even care about climate change by their actions.

 

I go shopping every Friday at Lotus and everything, small or large, goes in a plastic sack.

I have a mountain of plastic sacks, after a few weeks, which I than throw in the open oil drums placed at intervals in the sois.

The garbage spills out on the road and just lay there until a garbage truck comes along once a week.

I complained about the lack of garbage collecting to my wife and  got as reply that I was the only one complaining about nothing, this is the Thai mentality.

I bought a small DE coffee satchel at 7/11 for which a plastic sack were provided, I refused and put it in my pocket, crazy farang.

Thailand should be worrying more about the garbage than about climate change as Thailand will be sunk by the sheer volume of garbage before the rising sea will do. :post-4641-1156693976:

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