Inconsistent waste collection timing in the city leaves people frustrated

A perception survey on waste collection reveals that the frequency of waste collection services, location of collection point and timing of collection are the major hurdles towards effective collection and management waste in the country.

Since 2014 Thimphu Thromde authority has outsourced the collection and disposal of waste to two private companies. The two companies have to collect waste three times a week from every household.

However, most of people residing in Thimphu shared that they get confused with the timing since it comes in the morning or towards evening. Some shared that the garbage truck doesn’t show on the given timetable or they doesn’t show up the whole week.

Sonam Wangmo, a resident of Babesa said that the regularly scheduled visit by the truck in her neighborhood did not come on Wednesday.

“I have some wet waste that I’m thinking of dumping if the smell becomes unbearable as it is unhealthy,” she said.

She said that during the lockdown the garbage truck came on time and now it has become irregular.

“They should ensure that the vehicle provides enough time and alarm for people to come out as sometimes people are not aware of the arrival of the garbage trucks as the timings are not consistent,” she said.

Another resident in Samarzingkha said that it has been a while since the garbage trucks has become very irregular. “In our area, they haven’t visited almost for two weeks. If we complain and make a call the phone gets transferred here and there,” he said.

Karma residing at Zilukha said “We wait for the truck in the morning but it shows up in the evening. We get confused with their timing. It is a problem for office goers to dump their waste with their timing, they should at least come three times a week,” she said.

Karselma in Dechencholing Dangreyna said “We get confused with the timing, sometimes we wait in the morning but the truck shows up towards evening and sometimes in the morning,” she said.

Dorji, 38 said, “Despite, the private waste management firms say they do everything within their capacity to provide efficient service to the people, the garbage truck doesn’t turn up most of the time above the hospital area and I am not only the one who have informed the service provider.” 

Meanwhile, an official from Thimphu Thromde said that they have been receiving many complaints from public that the waste collection is not happening on time.

“Whenever we receive complain we directly alert the private service providers to make the collection to their respective areas and we try to address it without more ado,” he said.

To improve waste management in the capital, the Thimphu Thromde has proposed to buy 25 new waste trucks.

Karma Yonten, the founder of Greener way said that the people are not appreciating the complexity of this issue.

“We are doing fine and we have maintained a log book and we hardly get complaints, may be around five households complain in a day. As a service provider I can assure that there is no issue in the central area. We have five garbage trucks and it’s always on the road” he said.

An official from Clean City, another waste service provider in Thimphu said that they hardly receive complaints and try to address it immediately. “Sometimes when the garbage truck breaks down then we get late to reach at the designated places otherwise we have no issues,” she said.

National Waste Inventory Survey 2019 reveals that Bhutan generates 172.16 Metric Tons of solid waste per day of which household waste is 47.34 percent.

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