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Khon Kaen plans power plant to munch trash mountains

IN A BID to prevent a repeat of the damage wrought by the Praek Sa garbage-dump fire in Samut Prakan last month, Khon Kaen City Hall has placed two fire engines on a round-the-clock watch at the city's main dump and banned smoking near its 800,000 tonnes of garbage.

The municipality also has plans for long-term disposal measures, including a garbage-fed electricity-generating plant to be built in May, says Mayor Theerasak Theethaphan.

Pointing out that his Northeast province was among the country's top 10 for total accumulated garbage, Theerasak said the city's 98-rai dump in Ban Kham Bon, Muang district, now contained 800,000 tonnes of rubbish.

The garbage mountain needed to be tackled speedily to prevent impacts on farmland and water sources or even a fire like at Praek Sa, he said.

Theerasak said the first long-term solution was a Bt93-million Energy Ministry-funded project to turn six tonnes of plastic waste into 4,500 litres of fuel for the municipality.



Contractor sought

The project was currently seeking a new contractor after the previous contract expired last year, he added.

The second long-term solution, a power station to turn garbage into electricity, is waiting to be granted permission to begin construction next month and should be completed by early next year.

The power plant is designed to dispose of 450 tonnes of garbage per day - 250 tonnes of which would be new garbage.

Operating at this rate, the plant should be able to get rid the backlog of garbage within seven years, said Theerasak. The dumpsite would then be turned into a green recreational space for the local community, he added.

Authorities are also building a Bt73-million wastewater-treatment system featuring a 20-rai pond with 129,000 cubic-metre capacity. This system should be operating by November or earlier.




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