Pattaya City officials have begun removing more than 100 tons of hazardous medical waste that sparked protests by Khao Maikaew residents after it stated to be dumped there without their knowledge.
City contractor Nightingale Health Care Ltd. on Jan. 26 sprayed disinfectant and deodorant on the medical waste – which included used syringes, soiled tissue and bloody bandages – and began loading it onto a special temperature-controlled truck for incineration in Nakhon Sawan Province.
The truck can carry seven tons of waste each trip and the entire operation was estimated to take 20 days according to Pattaya City officials.
The operation began two days after neighbors of the Moo 4 village dump rose up in protest, asserting that infectious waste was not allowed to be disposed of there and that it was piling up instead of being hauled away.
Mayor Jamnien Kitipakul and Banglamung defense chief Prapan Pratumchompu escorted a contingent of solders to check the site Jan. 24.
Residents of Moo 4 said a private contractor previously hauled away the waste to be burned elsewhere, but the contract apparently had expired, resulting in the pile up. Local residents submitted a letter demanding to know who authorized the dumping of medical waste in their backyards.
Jamnien said people feared they could contract diseases from the infectious waste.
Responding to the uprising, Pattaya officials dispatched a medical team to offer free health checks to neighbors. The team reported that no one’s health had been adversely affected by the germ-filled garbage.
That proved little solace to Khao Maikaew Sub-district Council member Banchar U-Dong, who remained outraged at not only the unapproved dumping, but the length of time Pattaya was taking to clear it. He said the city had money enough to use more than one truck a day and that hauling it to Nakhon Sawan was a waste of time as there were closer incinerators.
He said the council will be voting on a measure to outlaw the disposal of medical waste in the sub-district.
We here at The Pattaya News also state that regular garbage has been gathering up for days in the previous week and have made prior articles about this. We hope that the garbage contracts are sorted out in due time.