Thimphu has always had a waste disposal problem, and residents have long complained about the inconsistent garbage truck schedules despite the fact that there are three service providers for different regions of the city.
Thimphu Thrompon, Ugyen Dorji, said his office receive numerous complaints from the people who are frustrated at the odd timings of the garbage trucks picking up the waste.
As part of the waste management flagship program, Thimphu Thromde has started the construction of the waste drop-off centers, which will be completed by the end of July in different zones.
Out of nine drop off centers three are already completed and 6 are under construction. However, it will be operational by August this year. In total Thimphu thromde will have 10 drop off centers including the existing drop off center in Kelki.
The nine drop of centers will be in Dangrina, Pamtsho, Babena, Motithang, Changzamtog, Changbangdu, Lungtenphu, Semtokha and Chumbugang.
“I believe that once we have that in place, it will help to resolve the waste issues because in the zone, every household can easily drop their garbage while going to work or when they are out and about. They won’t have to wait for the (garbage) truck to come. Once they drop their garbage, our waste collector will collect it from that specific drop-off center and people won’t have to throw stuff here and there,” he said.
Thromde is in the process of procuring more compactors, which will arrive within six months.
“Once we have that, we’ll have roughly 20 compactors here, in the hopes that things will improve overall. We’ve also spoken about improving the landfill in Memelakha, so we’ll have an integrated operation where waste will be better in terms of recycling and other things,” the Thrompon added.
Meanwhile, residents who have to go to work leave their trash outside their homes in the hopes that it would be picked up by garbage collectors, while others drop it off at drop off centers.
A Babesa resident, Kinley Penjor, stated that the garbage truck service was very poor in his neighborhood.
“I’ve lived in Babesa for several years, yet I’ve never seen a garbage truck arrive on time. When we grumble, they show up on schedule for a week or so and then vanish. The area may be too large for them to cover in one trip, but they do not return for a second round after the first. When they don’t arrive on time, it’s difficult for us to manage waste, so we dump it at a drop-off facility near by,” he said.
“We wait for the truck in the morning, but it turns up in the evening,” said Peljor, who lives in Zilukha. “We’re perplexed by their timing. It’s a challenge for office workers to discard their trash because of their schedules,” he explained.
Tandin, a Babena resident, said “We are hopeful that the problems will be resolved soon. Waste disposal has become extremely tough for us, particularly for the office workers. We must either take time off from work to dispose of the trash or take it to one of the drop-off locations,” she said.