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PM Addresses Samui's Soaring Tourism Leads to Incinerator Overload: Promises Short- and Long-term Solutions with Increased Budget


On April 7, 2024, Mr. Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance visited Samui Island to inspect waste management efforts at the Samui Waste Incineration Plant in Maret subdistrict, Koh Samui district, Surat Thani province. Koh Samui City Municipality has proposed a project to manage accumulated waste in major tourist areas on Samui Island, with a budget of 239,767,000 baht to clear 143,800 tons of accumulated waste.

 

The Prime Minister acknowledged the problem and stated that the issue must be addressed through a combination of short-term and long-term measures. The short-term measures will focus on managing accumulated waste with a budget of over 239 million baht. He also recognized that the incinerator is over 20 years old, and its incineration capacity has decreased, necessitating a replacement. Therefore, in the long term, the incinerator must be upgraded to generate electricity, which will also contribute to energy security. The Prime Minister will first review the short-term measures, which he pledged to oversee, including the introduction of new machinery and addressing the concern of increased waste generation as tourism grows.

 

In addition, the Prime Minister posted on social media that the public infrastructure on Koh Samui is a major issue that needs to be addressed. The island has 156,200 tons of accumulated waste due to the malfunctioning of the old incinerator. In the short term, some of the waste may need to be removed from the island for urgent disposal off-island by one means or another. In the long term, sustainable waste management solutions must be found, adhering to the principle of on-island waste management, such as waste incineration or biomass power plants, as appropriate. The Prime Minister has instructed relevant agencies to conduct thorough and comprehensive environmental impact assessments and public hearing.

 

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