State of Waste Management in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Policy Report

Phnom Penh is facing huge challenges in waste management due to population growth, increasing income and consumption levels, expanding urbanisation and inadequate waste management due to lack of proper waste collection and treatment facilities, technical staff as well as unclear responsibilities among staff members. In this regard, with the request for support from Cambodia’s Waste Management Division of Phnom Penh Capital Hall (PPCH), IGES Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies (CCET) has been providing technical assistance towards the development of a waste management strategy for Phnom Penh 2018-2035. The strategy is based on a holistic waste management approach. It addresses all waste streams (solid waste, liquid waste/ wastewater, and gaseous emissions), primarily focusing on solid waste and but also covering other forms within the mandate of Phnom Penh Capital Authority. In parallel with above, a quick study was done on Phnom Penh’s existing waste management systems and current practices including the waste flow, policies and regulations framework, waste management practices challenges, which provides practical recommendations for PPCH and other stakeholders for sound waste management in Phenom Penh. The rapid population growth due to industrialisation, and urbanisation in line with the expansion of the city area has led into a rapid increase in waste production in Phnom Penh. Beside an increase in municipal solid waste, other waste streams such as hazardous waste, industrial waste, medical waste, construction and demolition waste and agriculture waste are also increasing causing enormous challenges to the city about proper collection, treatment and disposal of these kinds of wastes. Moreover, there has been decentralisation of power in the waste sector from the provincial and district level to local levels, and so local authorities are still unaware of their responsibility and struggle in fulfilling their role. This report confirms that there are many challenges in current waste management in Phnom Penh due to social, technical, economical and institutional restrains. Therefore, the recommendations set out in this report are very important for policymakers and stakeholders in waste management in Phnom Penh for improvement of current waste management.