Illegal dumping of garbage by Thimphu residents

Even with the garbage pickup service provided by Greener Way, some of the residents in Thimphu are illegally dumping their garbage along roadsides, backyards, and streams and river.

The Chief Operational Officer, Greener Way, Dorji Wangchuk, said 90 percent of the people residing in Thimphu are segregating wastes and disposing their wastes properly, however, 10 percent of the people are disposing their wastes illegally at night.

He said office goers have been seen throwing their wastes near signboard as most of them leave home by 9 am. Greener Way has started evening services to collect waste and 25 of the office goers have registered for the evening services. The company is now making awareness through the media to increase the service registration with Greener Way so that they do not dump wastes along road sides and rivers.

The Greener Way waste collection services is limited to the thromde (city) zone, therefore,  people living outside the thromde have problems disposing their wastes, and resort to throwing it along the road sides and the river while on their way to the office and business places.

“As per contract, we are not allowed to go and collect waste outside thromde zone.   These are some of reasons why we see waste in every corner of Thimphu,” said Dorji Wangchuk.

He said that they tracking down people who are illegally dumping waste. He said, “We are tracking them, not to penalize, but to have them avail of our service because many people are not aware of our service.”

Greener Way aims to introduce five services, like regular collection, an evening service for office goers, service on demand for those who are residing out of Thromde zone where private vehicles are sent to collect waste, and on call services that include collection of household waste, like washing machine, refrigerator, and the day and evening services where people can bring segregate waste to Greener Way office located below the Kelki High School.

He said that some people throw wastes near the ‘do not dump waste’ signboards. He said that as dumping of waste is rampant, there will soon be fines imposed on the offenders. Also, segregating waste at source also reduces the energy taken to separate waste later.

The Chief Environment Officer, National Environment Commission (NEC), Thinley Dorji, said a few people have been caught dumping waste illegally, but it is very difficult to catch the people throw away food waste. NEC generally monitors the construction waste and big waste. He said there has been a reduction in the illegal dumping of the waste along roadsides due to the 50 percent reward of penalty amount being given to the informant.

He said that NEC is revising the Waste Regulation Act and will incorporate 50 percent of illegal waste dumping penalty for informant as incentive with proper consultation with the stakeholders.

He said monitoring of waste dumping is difficult due to the shortage of manpower and resources. “We still see illegal dumping of small waste in town and it is very difficult to cover whole Thimphu town with 10-12 inspectors with Thimphu Thromde,”

He said that people throwing small waste, if caught, will be fined Nu 100. He said that Clean Bhutan and Greener Way are also working with NEC in creating awareness and organizing and conducting cleaning campaigns.

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