oeoo in Cambodia

In spring 2018, oeoo launched a cleaning, recycling and environmental education project in Cambodia, which we are carrying out in cooperation with the Thuringian-Cambodian Society and COMPED (Cambodian Education and Waste Management Organization).

Two SeeHamster for Cambodia

In spring 2018, our first cleaning, recycling and environmental education project started in Battambang, Cambodia’s second largest city, in cooperation with the Thuringian Cambodian Society and COMPED (Cambodian Education and Waste Management Organization).

A team of local garbage collectors on site, assisted by oeoo, cleans the heavily polluted Sangkae River and its banks in Battambang five days a week.  The oeoo garbage collection vessel SeeHamster, a manoeuvrable catamaran with a canine ramp, is used.

The Sangkae River is a tributary of the Mekong River that flows through six Asian countries and is one of the ten rivers in the world that import the most plastic into the oceans.

The oeoo cleaning team in Battambang now consists of 5 permanent employees, who are paid by oeoo. There is also a volunteer program for other volunteers. Up to 120 bags of garbage are collected per day, which is about 1.5 tons. About 20% of this total is plastic/plastics.

The daily collected waste is taken to the local landfill with our TukTuk transporter and sorted there according to PET and PE as well as HDPE and pressed for further processing and sale into bales.
In the medium term, new garbage bags are to be produced in the region from the pure plastic, the German company SUND is the technical partner here.

The residual waste is given away to the garbage collectors for resale (alucans are, for example, a racer) or remains in the landfill, it does not come into the waters any more. oeoo also has its own office and relaxation rooms for its employees.

Accompanying the cleaning activities, there are regular training sessions and lectures for local people on the topic of waste prevention and recycling.

In the summer of 2020, another state-of-the-art SeeHamster with alu fixed hulls has been added.
This will be used in our second cleaning project in Siem Reap at Tonle Sap Lake, which will start in July 2020. Here, too, a team of five permanent employees will regularly clear the banks of the (plastic) waste.

Also in the capital Phnom Penh there will soon be a pilot project from oeoo.

Our successful cleaning work in Battambang was officially and in writing by the government earlier this year. The project is financed by SUND Holding GmbH + Co. KG, a group in the field of plastics production and distribution, as well as other donors.

The long-term goal is to clean up the entire Mekong and its tributaries in Cambodia. For this purpose, oeoo is working with the partner NGO as well as friends and supporters on site and Detlef Gutjahr from Germany to develop a suitable concept. This could then become a cleaning and recycling solution for the whole of Asia, adapted to the respective region.


The two cleaning projects of oeoo in Battambang (since 2018) and Siem Reap at Tonle Sap Lake (from 2020). The long-term goal is to clean up the Mekong and its tributaries in Cambodia. The collection and recycling plants are adapted to the requirements on site – from relatively easy in villages to larger and more elaborate in cities.

Cleanups are strenuous manual work.
Here you can see the quantities of household waste that pollute the river as drift material.
Styrofoam and other packaging material floats in large quantities in the river.
Cleaning the shore from plastic waste.
A cleanup team from oeoo in action.
Since there is no professional waste disposal in Battambang, the household waste is thrown to the banks, where it is washed away by the next flood. Thus, much of the waste ends up in the waters and is carried into the sea via the Mekong.
Impressions of the cleanups on the banks of the Sangkae River.
Impressions of the cleanups on the banks of the Sangkae River.
Impressions of the cleanups on the banks of the Sangkae River.
After a successful collective action.
In the background the oeoo garbage collection ship SeeHamster.
The SeeHamster on its way back from a collection campaign.
The SeeHamster is also used to transport the waste back.
Since there is no professional waste disposal in Battambang, the household waste is thrown to the banks, where it is washed away by the next flood. Thus, much of the waste ends up in the waters and is carried into the sea via the Mekong.
That is why our work on the ground is so important.
In high heat and high humidity, cleaning work is not a pleasure.
Sorting plastic waste.
Sorting plastic waste.
Sorting plastic waste.
Information stand on waste prevention and environmental protection from oeoo in Siem Rap.



Our project has recently been officially recognised by the Cambodian Government.
In May there was supposed to be an event in the capital Phnom Penh, the new SeeHamster could have shown its skills in front of the Royal Palace and 300 invited guests. Unfortunately, due to Corona-related reasons, this event was cancelled for the time being.

Nevertheless, a pilot project from oeoo will soon be launched in the capital Phnom Penh.

The Team

oeoo has expanded its cleaning team in Battambang to 5 permanent employees. Since the beginning of 2019, oeoo also has its own office and relaxation rooms for its employees.

Up to five garbage collection stakes are held every week on the Sangkae River around Battambang, supported by numerous volunteers who are rewarded for their cooperation with a warm lunch.

The SeeHamster cleaning ship from oeoo, which has been in use since mid-2018 and is used to clean up stretches of the banks of the city area from plastic waste, is just as good as a transport tuk-tuk, which has been available since February 2019.

Also downstream further ‘waste spots’ were marked, which are now gradually being processed.

The collected and sorted plastic waste is to be recycled into new garbage bags in the region in the medium term, the technical partner here is the company SUND.


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Mitte 2020 stellt oeoo einen weiteren SeeHamster zur Verfügung, dieser ist mit robusten Rümpfen aus Alu versehen und kommt in der Stadt Siem Reap zum Einsatz. oeoo liefert die in Deutschland hergestellten Einzelteile, die dann in Siem Reap zusammengebaut werden.

In mid-2020, oeoo will provide another SeeHamster, which is equipped with robust alu hulls and is used in the city of Siem Reap. oeoo supplies the german-made individual parts, which are then assembled in Siem Reap.

Our cleaning of the Sangkae River in Battambang, which is already in its third year, continues successfully despite the Corona crisis, albeit at longer intervals. Twice a week, embankments and the river are being cleaned in secured areas around Battambang.

On the remaining days, the garbage is sorted in the SAB (the Battambang social waste centre) and the plastic is pressed into bales and packed.

In Battambang, we can already map the entire recycling cycle from collecting and sorting plastic waste to recycling.

Ms. Bopha Sean

has been an employee and project coordinator of oeoo in Battambang since 2018. Bopha was entrusted by COMPED, the partner NGO of oeoo in Battambang, with the management of the oeoo environmental project.

The project offers a great opportunity to protect the environment and biodiversity of the country by cleaning the shores of the Sangkae River in Battambang and the surrounding area. Recycling the plastic waste will return a recyclable material that would otherwise only be deposited.

Bopha organizes the project work plan for the various helpers, manages the budget and expenditure, coordinates with local authorities and relevant stakeholders, collects data and documents the work. She is also active in local education work. From time to time, she joins the collection teams of the SeeHamster to clean the river and its banks.

Ms. Chea Sorn

born on April 4, 1986 in the province of Odomeanchey, is the wife of Nau Kaly. They live with their two daughters in a small house on the landfill site.

Chea Sorn used to be a garbage collector at the Battambang landfill. In order to improve her standard of living, in December 2019 she decided to work for oeoo for 150 dollars a month.

Chea pays part of her salary to her sister, who takes care of her children during Chea’s work. In March 2020, she bought a new motorcycle, which she can now use to drive to the cleaning sites on the river.

Mr. Nau Kaly

born on June 18, 1988 in Battambang, is the husband of Chea Sorn. He used to work at the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) to defuse landmines and as a welder, but both works are very dangerous.

When he heard about oeoo and the river purification project in Battambang, he applied to the project coordinators Bopha and John for a job as a worker. In October 2019, he started working at oeoo for 150 dollars a month.

As early as December, he was able to buy a new mobile phone to stay in touch with John and Bopha to coordinate the clean-up. Nau Kaly was also trained as a SeeHamster and tuk-tuk driver and now controls the garbage collection vessel SeeHamster and the Tuk Tuk. He lives with his wife and two daughters in a house on the landfill site.

Ms. Thuk The

born on June 2, 1967 in Battambang, has worked for several years in Thailand. She returned to her hometown of Battambang because she hasn’t been able to lift anything heavy since surgery.

Initially, she collected recyclables on the street to make money. In August 2019 she met oeoo in a public workshop. She was interested in the project and joined oeoo on 19 August 2019.

With her salary of 150 dollars a month, she can buy back her land. She plans to build a small house with her grandmother, daughter and sister.


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