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Each truck employs three staff; a driver and two waste collectors who lift waste bins and bags and empty them into the trucks [ 33 ]. Around 10 tonnes of waste per day is transferred directly from Tha Khon Yang to a landfill site 25 km away in the same Province. This clause resulted in the closure of the Maha Sarakham landfill site in August The landfill refused to accept waste from 14 areas outside the Maha Sarakham Municipality [ 33 ] and Tha Khon Yang was one of these areas.

Tha Khon Yang became very polluted [ 35 ] resulting in a state of emergency. Ironically, the closure of the landfill site resulted in the unauthorized dumping of large volumes of roadside waste. A public meeting was organized to inform and seek cooperation from the community. However, not many people attended the meeting. In a further bid to inform people about the changed service the TKYSM delivered a message, using a megaphone, from a moving vehicle.

This method failed to reach people living in multi-story-complexes or apartments. People were told to manage their household waste by separating recyclables, composting organic waste or, disposing of their waste by burning it. The outcome of the closure and the failed community engagement effort resulted in a dramatic increase of accumulated waste. However, the low-lying topography, lack of private land or civic space for use or purchase has made this a significant and ongoing challenge [ 33 ].

Waste Management The New Legislative Climate Thorogood Reports

Clearly defining the barriers may contribute to development of solutions to waste problems both in this region and in other in newly urbanized areas in places suffering similar problems, leading to better MSWM. To understand the experiences and attitudes of participants with respect to MSWM in the Tha Khon Yang area, and to avoid bias, data was gathered from a variety of sources using a variety of techniques [ 37 ] including focus groups, in-depth interviews, observation, and site visits.

Research was conducted entirely in the Tha Khon Yang Sub-district. This study represents the views of various stakeholders, including both MSWM service providers and users of the service, and some external agents. Stakeholders were chosen according to recommendations from the literature [ 7 , 38 ]. All participants in the study were Thai and over 18 years of age. Service providers were selected from the TKYSM, the local authority providing the waste management service, including directors, official staff and operational staff.

The users of the service were people from Tha Khon Yang, including residents university students, villagers and village leaders , and entrepreneurs owners or managers of businesses in the immediate area. External agents included other organizations, academics and experts. Approval was granted on the English versions of the research instruments. These were later translated into Thai language.

The Mayor of the municipality was informed about the research project. A formal letter and all related documents were sent to him. Between May and August , the primary researcher received invitations to attend six meetings concerning waste management in Tha Khon Yang. These meetings had a number of purposes; some were high-level managers meetings e.

The researcher made audio recordings, took written notes, and observed participants. Attending meetings provided the opportunity to establish rapport with study participants. The primary researcher visited many roads and alleys in villages and communities around the study area to view and take photos of waste piles, bins and waste collecting points.

The waste collecting points were also observed, over days, weeks and months. The researcher also visited the landfill site. Figure 1 presents some evidence of pollution. Between May and August , the primary researcher conducted 28 face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with residents, academics, administrators and other organizations related to MSWM of Tha Khon Yang Table 1.


Interviews took between 20 and 40 min per person. Times differed between stakeholder groups to accommodate social and cultural backgrounds of interviewees. On deciding to participate, interviewees contacted the researcher and made an appointment. Nonprobability sampling [ 39 ] was used for participant selection approaches and techniques that are explained below:.

Village leaders: The primary researcher attended a meeting as an observer in Tha Khon Yang community. Attendees of this meeting consisted of the Chief Executive of the TKYSM, leaders of every village in this sub-district 15 villages and other leaders in this community. Volunteer sampling [ 39 ] was used and four leaders volunteered to participate. Entrepreneurs: First, the researcher made an appointment with the Director of the waste management section of the TKYSM who knew the area and its entrepreneurs very well.

Then the researcher and the Director selected three groups of entrepreneurs, namely restaurants, dormitories and markets. Purposive sampling [ 39 , 40 ] was used for selecting participants from the list of entrepreneurs in Tha Khon Yang which met the criteria of two urbanized zones and three sizes of businesses small, medium and large. The researcher visited these entrepreneurs and administered the research instruments. Academics: The primary researcher sent an invitation to one to two academics from a university and a school ask them to contribute them to participate in the study.

The email administered the research instruments. A Snowball technique [ 39 ] was used. A key academic referred the primary researcher to other academics who might be willing to participate. Waste Management Administrators: The primary researcher made appointments with Waste Management Administrators and other external organizations via workplace secretaries.

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The researcher made a phone call to their secretaries to arrange the administration of the research instruments. Three focus groups were run, comprising of different stakeholders waste management operation staff, residents, and students from dormitories in the Tha Khon Yang Table 2. The three focus groups were arranged to be held on separate days and in different places, depending on the stakeholder group.

Voluntary sampling [ 39 ] was used to select local residents from different villages, students tenants from different dormitories and waste management operation staff of TKYSM. There were no more than ten participants in each focus group.

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Focus group sessions lasted for 60 to 90 min. In each focus group session, the research team consisted of the researcher, moderator, note taker, audio recorder and organizer. An audio recording of the focus group conversation was made for later review.

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During focus group discussions, participants were guided by the moderator who kept the discussion focused, ensured that everyone participated, and encouraged participants to explain their answers. The audio files generated from the 28 face-to-face semi-structured interviews and three focus groups were transcribed by the researcher onto a word processor and later uploaded and analysed for thematic content using NVivo software [ 41 ].

Analysis was undertaken in Thai language to prevent bias or loss of nuance that might arise from translated terms or expressions. Salient quotes were translated into English for use in publication. The analytical framework for this study was constructed of factors or aspects reported in the solid waste management literature and applied by the US EPA May [ 3 , 42 ] and Guerrero et al.

Thematic aspects of the framework include technical, institutional, socio-political, and financial matters. The following discussion includes findings from interviews and focus group discussions. The results present the most frequently cited issues. A well-functioning waste management system allows residents to dispose of their waste in an appropriate manner. Components of a waste management system include the facilities and equipment used to temporarily store waste collection bins or transfer collected waste to its final disposal site [ 16 ].

The following sections explain the key technical and physical challenges to MSWM identified by participants. At least six waste management issues were raised by survey participants that express how current infrastructure is insufficient including; lack of waste collecting points, irregularity of waste collection, inadequate waste collection vehicles, limited access to waste bins, alternative to final waste disposal and improper waste separation facilities. Also physical challenges including; large volume of waste and space limitations.

TKYSM does not provide obvious waste collection points for local people.


Participants in this study complained that they could not find an appropriate location to put their solid waste, that there were an insufficient number of collection points, or, points are not sited appropriately, or, that collection points are not fixed.

When they see bins or black plastic bags somewhere, they will put their waste there too. The problem is that there is no obvious waste collection point. Many residents refuse to have a bin in front of their home because they fear others will bring their garbage there too, thereby establishing a neighborhood waste collection point, rather than a household one:.

It becomes a very untidy place. And sometimes, some pickup trucks bring their waste to this point too… Some waste collecting points are too close to a community or people. That is not very good. Waste collection routes in Tha Khon Yang are divided into seven zones; trucks will collect waste in each zone from Monday to Saturday.


Even though there is a system of collection routes for each truck; they struggle to complete their set tasks each day. The waste collectors are unable to adhere to their collection schedule. Waste collection services were a common issue of concern for most participants. We have tried to collect every day though. So I called them the municipality to ask when they could collect the waste and how often.

They said they were unable to tell me how often that they could offer a waste collection service for this dormitory. If it is a severe problem, I can call them.