BANGKOK - Thailand could become the garbage bin of the world, an expert on waste management and environmental protection have warned, as the government's policies to promote the waste-to-energy industry have already resulted in plastic waste imports to the country.
Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand director Penchom Saetang said the country's recent waste management trends run counter to correct waste management methods.
The government's current path will prevent a proper solution to waste management problems and unintentionally lead to waste from other countries being dumped in Thailand, she said.
Penchom singled out for criticism the promotion of private investment in small waste-to-energy projects across the country.
"Waste-to-energy is one of the most polluting methods for both waste management and power generation, because not only will burning garbage emit toxic pollutants, but the leftover ashes are also very hazardous and require very careful disposal in a secured landfill. And so building many small waste-to-energy plants is a very bad decision," Penchom said.
"I do not contest the advantages of waste-to-energy, as it is one of the acceptable measures to deal with unrecyclable waste, but we should have only a few big waste-to-energy plants that are properly equipped with all pollution control measures," she added.