As with many other cities in Cambodia, Battambang Municipality faces huge challenges in managing its waste. With no consistent annual budget allocated to waste management services, the city relied on the private sector for municipal waste collection and disposal services based on user fees collected from residents. However, with low service quality of the service provider on one hand, and inability and unwillingness to pay the service fee, open burning and uncontrolled disposal of waste were commonplace among citizens, severely affecting public health and the living environment as well as damaging public confidence in the government and the service provider.
In order to overcome these problems, Battambang launched a participatory waste management initiative in 2011, with technical support from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and a local NGO and partner, the Cambodian Education and Waste Management Organization (COMPED), through strategically combining a series of projects supported by the technical cooperation and financing schemes of various development partners. The initiative broadly addressed diverse waste streams while primarily focusing on MSW. In its entirety, it aimed at setting up community-based planning and implementation of climate friendly waste management
based on a 3R (reduction, reuse and recycle) approach, as well as building capacity and enhancing
partnerships between the municipal government and local stakeholders. The initiative was also complemented by the conditional and limited national fund which was made available to the municipality for the improvement of its waste management services.
With the strong political support and leadership of the Municipal Governor and key stakeholders, as well as moderation and technical assistance provided by external organisations (including international organisations, IGES, and Phitsanulok Municipality) and ongoing efforts of the stakeholders (the municipality, local NGOs, private companies and community members), the waste management situation in Battambang has gradually improved over the years.