In a country where a recycling and effective garbage system is void, littered streets and roadsides have always been an eyesore for cities across Laos. The presence of recycling and proper disposal of trash has never taken priority when educating youths at school or at home, so they grow up with the idea that trash just belongs on the ground.
With a concept to develop Vientiane into a “clean city” by 2030, the Vientiane City Office for Management and Services under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, is urging Vientiane residents to take part in the clean city project by tidying the inside and outside of their homes during designated cleaning hours that will run from from June, 7 through to 2020.
The city office has also issued a warning that a fine of 500,000 kip per incident will be enforced if citizens are witnessed littering on roadsides and on unused land in the capital.
Announced by Ms Vilayvone Chanthalaty, Chief of the Vientiane City Office for Management and Services, Wednesday mornings from 5am-6am (during the rainy season, 5:30am-6:30am for the dry) will be designated to the clean city project, where residents are expected to clean in and around their homes, including garbage clearance and tree planting.
The initiative focuses on transforming Vientiane into a cleaner and greener city, also marking the 45th anniversary of World Environment Day. The Vientiane City Office for Management and Services also requested Vientiane residents to responsibly manage their garbage by separating garbage items, aiming to reduce the payment of garbage disposal from 10,000 kip per bag.
Ms Vilayvone stated, “We will have a special team to provide transfer of garbage from festivals, weddings and construction areas. Besides that, we will soon launch a hotline number to better connect with members of the public for feedback around implementing the city’s Management and Services as well as the ongoing garbage issue in capital.”
With the capital’s officials focused on cleansing the nine districts in central Vientiane, the vision is that the city will be transformed into a standard of cleanliness for the rest of the country to follow.
Vientiane covers an area of 3,920 square kilometres and has a population of around 800,000 people. Authorities believe the city’s population will increase to about 1.4 million by 2030.
According to a report for 2015, the capital produced about 300-400 tonnes of waste daily while authorities were only able to collect 250-300 tonnes per day resulting in polluted roadsides and the surrounding environment.