In an exhilarating move towards modernity, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has decided to redefine the way waste management operates within its realm. The metropolis is set to become a pioneering benchmark for other cities, with an unprecedented plan to unveil electric garbage trucks as well as to construct two more waste-to-energy (WTE) plants.
Chatree Wattanakajorn, the deputy permanent secretary at the BMA, proudly heralded this frontline progression yesterday. The BMA has commendably brokered a successful pact, thereby empowering a private organization to construct these additional WTE plants. These plants are to be situated in the Nong Khaem district and the On Nut sector of the Phra Khanong district, previously known for waste incineration.
Expected to commence its operations early next year, the project aims to finish by the end of 2026. The project will hinge on a build-operate-transport model, confirming that the management of these plants will be under a 20-year concession awarded to the triumphant bidder. After two decades, the facilities will be integrated back into the BMA’s infrastructure.
In addition to this progressive plan, the BMA has made judicious allocations in the existing fiscal year for the construction of another incineration plant in Nong Khaem. Following completion, the plant is set to produce an impressive 21 to 24 megawatts of electricity, with 19 megawatts of that estimated to be commercially sold. The Ministry of the Interior has given its full approval for this transformative project and is currently calling for public bids.
The cornerstone of this covenanted project is the dramatic reduction in the quantity of garbage diverted to landfills. To provide some perspective, we currently witness a staggering 4.1 tonnes (around 45% of total collected garbage) being deposited daily. The plan, however, is to trim it down impressively to 1.7 tonnes, a mere 15% of the daily collected waste. A vigilant measure indeed!
There are also plans simmering to inflate the WTE plants capacity. As of now, these facilities manage 500 tonnes of daily waste, a mere 5% of the total waste collected. Imagine the satisfaction when this capacity is ramped up to manage a whopping 28% of the total waste, as reported by the Bangkok Post.
Not stopping there, the BMA continues its saga of environmentally friendly initiatives. Its ongoing negotiations with the Environmental Research Institute of Chulalongkorn University pertain to the privatization of garbage collection and waste management at the
On Nut and Nong Khaem incineration sites. A prerequisite to these talks is that garbage collection must make use of diesel-free vehicles so there’s no pollution affecting the nearby vicinities.
Ever conscious of their ecological responsibilities, the BMA’s journey towards sustainability sees the phasing out diesel garbage trucks, instead replacing them with electric vehicles (EVs). The plan targets the introduction of 842 EV trucks this year, with another 721 following in 2025, culminating in a fleet of astounding 1,563 EV garbage trucks servicing Bangkok.
This endeavor reflects Bangkok’s unwavering commitment to changing the environmental narrative of waste management. It’s more than a plan; it’s a promise to posterity for a cleaner, greener future. Indeed, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is the epitome of the phrase, “Out with the old, in with the new!”