Waste collection in Thimphu, Bhutan’s largest urban sprawl, is now fully outsourced to private operators with Clean City Services handling the capital’s north zone.
ThimphuThromde outsourced the north zone, comprising the Taba areas, to Clean City for Nu 435, 290 a month. Collection in the city’s east and south zones has been outsourced to Greener Way since 2010.
Spread along the banks of the WangchuriverThimphuThromde, measuring 26 sq.km, has an estimated population of 120,000 and produces 48 metric tonnes of waste daily.
Since Clean City (previously Bhutan Hospitality and Cleaning Services) took over collection in the north zone from June 2, it increased collection frequency from twice a week to thrice a week.
“Previously, the vehicle got filled before it could complete half the area,” said Clean City’s CEO, JyotiGurung. The firm has been providing waste collection services to offices, homes and commercial outlets for the past four years.
JyotiGurung said waste segregation has also been initiated so that minimal amount of waste is sent to the Meme Lhakha landfill, 12 kms from the city. “To inhabit this system, residents need to be educated and informed about the waste segregation,” she said adding that the firm wants to segregate bottle, cardboard and also small pieces of plastic and paper.It will sell plastic waste to the Green Road project and paper waste to YDF once segregation is implemented.
With Clean City taking over the north zone the open dumpers near the dzong and on the way to Taba, where garbage is dumped carelessly, will be removed.
NimaTshering, a Tabaresident, said that since the frequency of the waste collection has increased it should contribute to cleaner surroundings.
“Compared to before the service has improved with the increased collection frequency though sometimes there is delay in garbage truck timings,” said another Taba resident, ChenchoWangmo.
Clean City has more than 35 employees and uses five compactors of the Thromde to collect waste. It will soon have more compactors once the Thromde procures new ones according to the CEO.