The Thimphu Thromde has appointed eight waste inspectors who will patrol the city on their mountain bikes and penalize defaulters breaking city rules.
The uniformed inspectors will waste patrol South, North and Central Thimphu on a shift system and keep a close eye on illegal hawkers and dumping of garbage.
Thimphu Thromde’s Chief Environment Officer, Yeshey Wangdi, said that after the appointment of waste inspectors, there has been visible decrease in the number of hawkers around the town and a decrease in complaints from people on waste issues.
“With their appointment we hope to see more positive results in managing waste around the city,” he said.
Thimphu Thromde recently issued a circular stating that the waste collection will be carried out in the evening in all parts of the capital. But it has been learned that the garbage trucks have become more irregular after the new rules, with some places facing severe waste issues after the garbage trucks have failed to collect waste for more than two weeks.
Yeshey Wangdi said the Thromde could not the circular because it becomes very inconvenient to convince or make people aware of the abrupt changes brought in the system. “On top of that, currently we have limited facilities to implement the new rules. So right now we are studying the population density and the critical places facing major waste issues and accordingly trying to implement the rules,” he said.
The Chief Environment Officer said one reason the Thromde could not implement the new rules is due to delay in the setting up a transfer station by Greener Way, Bhutan’s first waste management and recycling firm. A transfer station is a building or processing site for the temporary deposition of waste where local waste collection vehicles will deposit their waste cargo.
“People often complain about the absenteeism of garbage trucks in their locality, so we try to verify their claim by tracking movement of the vehicle through our GPRS system and we take actions accordingly and penalize the firms involved,” Yeshey Wangdi said. “We are studying the strategic locations of the places and will accordingly deploy more garbage trucks. In busy areas such as Norzin Lam, the garbage truck plies at least six times a day.”
Currently there are 22 garbage trucks operated by the two waste management firms, Greener Way and Clean City. Greener Way garbage trucks operate in central and southern Thimphu while Clean City operates in northern Thimphu.