Addressing waste management issue

There are only 20 garbage trucks plying all over Thimphu. The garbage trucks collect wastes thrice a week. The trucks are monitored through GPS so it is used optimally given the density of population and vast areas.

Chief Environment Officer of Thromde, Yeshi Wangdi, said that the timing of waste collection is a serious concern. “

Thromde has tried every possible way, he said, adding that in Olokha, they carried out a pilot project to collect waste in the evening starting at 5 PM, and they could finish only at 11 PM. “We carried out a survey on this, and we found many tenants complaining about the disturbances caused by the vehicles at night,” he said. Likewise, he said that they even tried with the morning garbage collection but it was not effective.

Yeshi Wangdi said that 50 percent of waste is kitchen waste (wet) while rests are PET bottles, plastics and papers. There are very few scrap dealers in Thimphu that buy PET bottles and papers. He said that the kitchen waste was dumped in Serbithang and it is now dumped in Memelakha.

As for home composting, he said, residents have to add yeast, sugar, yogurt and rice husk into the kitchen waste and leave it for fragmentation, and thereafter they can keep adding the waste into it.

“Likewise, for the PET bottles and papers recycling; Green Road always requires PET bottles and plastics to build roads, and even electric post can be made from PET bottles. Such electric post can be used by farmers to avoid short circuit of electric wires and prevention of root fences being ruined by rains.

The Thromde is setting up a PET bottle collection center in Changzamtog where anyone can contact the center if they have PET bottles for sale. “A community in Dechencholing did, and they sold 600 kgs of PET bottles to Green Road and they were paid,” he added. In terms of paper waste, he said that Greener Way and YDF buy such papers.

Thromde has started a home composting pilot with the Dechencholing community. “We have started this initiative with RBA. We are done with the discussion with RBG and RBP, however we are yet to start,” he said. The next target is Centenary Farmers’ Market (CFM), and they are discussing on issuing a separate space (to make a home composting) since it is a large community dealing with organic products, he said.

And likewise, Thromde said the issue in JDWNRH is solved as very less kitchen waste comes to Memelakha.  “We are going to make people aware of such ideas, and we will fully scale up by this year,” he added.

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