Songkhla named 'dirtiest' province

Songkhla is Thailand's dirtiest province, followed by Samut Prakan and Kanchanaburi, according to figures from the Pollution Control Department.

Songkhla has the most undisposed rubbish in the country, including waste that has not been collected or has been disposed of improperly. 

Wichien Jungrungruang, director-general of the Pollution Control Department, said Songkhla had 2.4 million tonnes of undisposed rubbish in 2013 or an average of 1.7 kilogrammes per head. Samut Prakan had 2 million tonnes or 1.6kg a head, while Kanchanburi had 1.6 million tonnes or 1.9kg a head.

A total of 20 provinces have accumulated undisposed rubbish. Of those 20, Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Phuket have the least problem waste.

The entire country produced 26.77 million tonnes of rubbish in 2013, two million tonnes more than 2012. A total of 7.2 million tonnes were properly disposed of, but 6.9 million tonnes were improperly dumped, while 7.6 million tonnes were not collected and 5.1 million tonnes were recycled. 

Thailand produced an average of 1.15kg of rubbish per person each day in 2013, up from 1.03kg in 2008. By comparison, Japan produces an average of 1kg of rubbish per person on a daily basis.

Mr Wichien said the country has only 466 proper waste disposal management sites, but there are as many as 2,024 improper dump sites that risk accidents such as the massive fire that started last weekend in tambon Praksa, Samut Prakan. The fire has been billowing toxic fumes for five consecutive days.

Jintana Pitayamethakul, director of the Natural Resources and Environment Office in Songkhla said it was quite difficult for the province to dispose of all its rubbish properly because it hosts several million visitors a year, swelling its existing 1.3 million population.

The province has only four proper waste disposal sites and another 12 improper dumps. Local officials plan to seek 70 million baht from the Environment Fund to build a new proper waste disposal site in the province.

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