“There is too much garbage on our streets. Even with our teams out every night collecting rubbish, it’s still there. The garbage situation in Patong is worrying,” Mayor Chalermluck told The Phuket News this week.
“In some areas, the garbage bins are overflowing and the rubbish spills onto the ground. We try to keep these areas clean, but there is too much rubbish and the problem remains. It does not look good at all.”
A key contributing factor to the sheer volume of garbage dumped on the streets of Patong are residents and businesses placing their rubbish on the footpaths for collection outside the indicated collection hours, Mayor Chalermluck explained.
“We keep telling people to place their rubbish on the street for collection only between 6pm and 2am, but they keep dumping it beside the road at all hours.
“Regular garbage collection hours do not work when people only do what suits themselves,” she added.
The app, developed under the Smart City policy, will be operational – in English and Thai – by April, Mayor Chalermluck confirmed.
“The app is being developed as a part of creating Patong’s future. The Phuket committee responsible for the Smart City projects gave Patong the chance to benefit from this, so I asked for this application,” she said.
However, Mayor Chalermluck declined to reveal how much is being spent on developing the app.
Chalermrat Dilokpat, Managing Director of D-Kids, the contracted garbage collector in Patong, said the app is already being used to analyse which “hot spots” produce more garbage for collection than others.
Phuket Vice Governor Teera Anantaseriwidhya, who chairs the Provincial Garbage and Wastewater Committee, suggested the app may be used elsewhere for cleaning up other areas on the island.
“The committee must solve these issues. It must take more effective action about all forms of waste disposal on the island,” V/Gov Teera said.
“The Patong Report app is a good idea. If this (app) helps to make Phuket cleaner, it could be worth presenting to the committee as another way to help solve waste issues. I certainly would support it,” he added.
Meanwhile, the provincial garbage and wastewater committee is currently developing a campaign to appeal to people’s “hearts” in a bid to prevent roadside dumping.
“The project is ‘Phuket is beautiful by our hand’, which will call for people and officials to have the heart to clean up garbage and be more effective in resolving our island’s waste issues,” he said.
* Click here for the app on Google Play.