Cintri in Contract Negotiations With All Phnom Penh Districts

Phnom Penh’s beleaguered trash-collection company, Cintri, is in the process of creating new contracts with each of the city’s 12 districts, an official from the firm said on Thursday.

Ith Chanda, a Cintri operations manager, said the decision to open contract negotiations with the city’s districts was the result of a February letter from the Council of Ministers empowering the Environment Ministry and City Hall to review the 2002 contract that granted the company a monopoly on waste removal in the capital.

“In the contract discussions, we are talking about who will be in charge of [trash collection in] the different locations in the district, who will do the planning at each location, whether trash will be collected once a day or twice a day,” Mr. Chanda said.

“For example, we are discussing who will collect trash from construction sites. Will it be the district authority or Cintri?” he added.

He said the company was also in discussions with city officials to open new dump sites in Chbar Ampov, Chroy Changva and Prek Pnov districts.

Asked about the frequent complaints leveled against the company by municipal officials and city residents, Mr. Chanda acknowledged that while some were “fair,” it would be unreasonable to place all blame at the feet of the firm.

“People always put their trash out, but many people do not leave it in plastic bags for us to pick up,” he said, adding that the city’s many scavengers also made it difficult for Cintri workers to do their job.

“The trash scavengers pick through the bags and leave a mess everywhere,” he said.

Daun Penh district governor Kuoch Chamroeun confirmed on Thursday that his officials had entered negotiations with Cintri, and said the new contract would help clarify the company’s responsibilities.

“With this new contract, we will be able to see whether Cintri is doing its job or not,” he said. “If we see that the streets are not clean, then we can complain directly to them and not have to ask City Hall.”

After the Council of Ministers’ letter was issued in February, Mr. Chamroeun called Cintri’s performance “just not acceptable.”

Asked on Thursday whether he had since seen any improvement, the district governor said the firm was still not up to the task.

“I see that Cintri is doing nothing better yet. They need to find more transportation, staff and equipment,” he said.

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