Authorities Acknowledge Waste Collection Problems in Vientiane Capital

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Waste Management in Vientiane Capital
Garbage trucks at the city landfill (Photo: Lao Ecnomic Daily)

Residents have taken to social media recently to express dissatisfaction with collection services, which have seen major delays.

Households across the capital have signed agreements for weekly collection with state-owned and private waste collection services in each district.

But in many small laneways or minor roads, garbage has been piling up for weeks.

Garbage piles up in Nathom village.

Head of Vientiane City Office for Management and Service (VCOMS), Mr. Bounchanh Keosithamma, told Security News that one major issue causing delays or missed pickup has been corruption and misappropriation of funds by waste collection officials.

In many cases, crooked deals were found to have been made between garbage collectors and collection fee officials under which garbage would be collected, however, fees would not be handed over to the waste collection company.

According to Mr. Bounchanh, officials have been warned and informed that any further reports of corruption would be met with strict disciplinary action. 

At the same time, VCOMS has reported some residents dumping waste or burning garbage to avoid paying waste collection fees.

Mr. Bounchan says he encourages every household in Vientiane Capital to sign an agreement for waste collection and ensure garbage is properly contained and left out for collection where clearly visible to keep the city orderly and clean. 

Residents should make an effort to separate garbage so that it can be more easily recycled or collected by waste pickers, while leaving it out for collection in an enclosed bin or basket to prevent stray animals from strewing rubbish in the street.