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Cambodia Solid Waste and Plastic Management Improvement Project

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About the Project

The World Bank awarded ESC the Cambodia Solid Waste and Plastic Management Improvement Project. The proposed development aims to improve solid waste and plastic management and capacity in selected cities and nationally in Cambodia. In addition, cities will receive selected solid waste infrastructure, specifically landfills to improve the environmental performance of the waste disposal.

According to the World Bank, Cambodia has experienced rapid growth in recent years with increased urban development and tourism in particular. Solid waste is more and more seen as a critical bottleneck for Cambodian cities and districts. This issue has become a high-priority national agenda that may also affect Cambodia’s key tourism destinations including Siem Reap where the Angkor Wat temple complex is located, Phnom Penh, and coastal tourism.

Studies show that inadequate disposal of solid waste has major environmental, public health, and economic impacts including air, soil and water pollution from burning and wind-blown waste, and uncontrolled leachate discharge, while uncollected dumps lead to increased pests and diseases. Plastic waste pollution also forms a major source of solid waste in Cambodia that endangers local rivers, lakes, and marine ecosystems.

Our Approach

Building on our solid understanding of waste management coupled with careful planning for reform, ESC carried out a pre-feasibility study that include:

  • Identification and suitability analysis of potential landfill sites for Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampong Speu, Sihanoukville, Kandal municipalities
  • Assessment of waste generation, composition, and landfill and treatment needs
  • Pre-feasibility assessment for new landfill and/or closing/rehabilitation of old landfill
  • Assessment of the potential of simple and low costs waste treatment facilities
  • Conceptual landfill design options and other waste systems for three cities
  • Waste collection and transport planning
  • Institutional systems assessment, planning, and development,
  • Costs assessments, financial analysis including tariffs and institutional/operational options for three cities

The project team is led by Nigel Landon, who has an in-depth understanding of systems and procedures for donors, national governments, and the private sector. Our international and multidisciplinary teams from India supported as well for this project. ESC has been working in the donor sector on World Bank, KFW Development Bank, European Union (EU), Australian Government (DFAT), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), projects since 2005.


Through this project, the World Bank had recognized the need to address problems throughout the solid waste management cycle. In particular by focusing equally on infrastructure, institutional development, fee recovery, and effective management, monitoring, operation, and maintenance. This project represents an important step towards putting in place genuinely sustainable solid waste management systems in Cambodia.

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