Assessment of public-private partnership in municipal solid waste management in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Vin Spoann, Takeshi Fujiwara, Bandith Seng, Chanthy Lay, Mongtoeun Yim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    The overall responsibility for waste management in Phnom Penh Capital (PPC) has rested with the municipal authorities and contracted waste collection companies. Providing waste collection services is a major challenge for Phnom Penh due to the increasing waste volume and the deficiency of the system under public-private partnership. In response to continuing population growth and urbanization, sustainable management is necessary. This study reviewed the details of the processes and examined the performance of the private sector and local government authorities (LGAs). The study used sustainability assessment, according to a success and efficiency factor method. This assessment method was developed to support solid waste management in developing countries. Multiple sustainability domains were evaluated: institutional, legislative, technical, environmental and health aspects as well as social, economic, financial and critical aspects. The results indicate that the long-term contract design attempts for partnership may actually result in a worsening of the situation by facilitating new ways of concentration, inefficiency and political interest. The limited institutional capacity of the public sectors is a consequence of the inefficient decentralization of municipal solid waste management (MSWM) policies. Public-private partnerships can be neither effective nor sustainable if LGAs and CINTRI co. Ltd. waste collection company do not build proper incentives into their management of the two sectors. Revisiting the legal framework, establishing a facilitating agency that will assist in the design and the nurturing of partnerships, competitive tendering, and transparency and financial accountability are essential elements for PPP on the provision of waste services in PPC.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1228
    JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2019


    • Decentralisation
    • Institutional capacity
    • Phnom Penh
    • Public-private partnership
    • Quality assessment
    • Solid waste collection

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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