A meeting on Environmental Impact Assessment was organized recently by PPAO at the Phuket Merlin Hotel in Phuket Town to discuss new waste management measures. Taking part in the meeting were PPAO Head of Engineering Department – Wassana Sriwilai, Head of Planning and Budget – Satien Kaewpraparp, and officials of relevant sections of PPAO.
The meeting was convened as a result of concern over issues of refuse management in Phuket that threatens the local environment. The meeting was told that the increasing amount of refuse, at 7% per year, is putting a strain on the local 950-ton incinerator, and even landfills usually carried out by the municipality are now considered impractical. It was agreed that organic matter, which makes up 62.70% of total waste materials, must be managed differently. To decrease the amount of refuse reaching Phuket town, PPAO has a plan to initiate biological reprocessing and energy recovery program by processing degradable materials into compost fertilizer and harnessing resulting gas into usable energy. To this end, a construction of dedicated plant for this purpose is being discussed. The program is also seen as a measure to reduce organic materials reaching the local incinerator, which not only requiring a great deal of energy to burn but also producing airborne pollution. The plan will start with more efficient waste sorting system. Handled by PPAO, organic materials will be separated from other waste products and subsequently transported directly to the intended plant. There, further sorting will take place where lighter materials like foam, paper and plastic are separated from heavy materials like metal, glass and stones, using water stream. The remaining organic matter will be sent to processing vessel to be processed into compost and the resulting bio-gas used to generate electricity.