Waste collection in Thimphu to be outsourced

The government spends about Nu 30 mn just to collect and dispose the wastes in Thimphu Thromde annually. The Thimphu District Municipality (TDM) will outsource the present waste collection strategy to the private entities by the end of this year.

The Deputy Executive Engineer, Environment Division, TDM, Yeshi Wangdi said the objectives of outsourcing the waste collection is to reduce financial burden on the government and to increase the effectiveness of the service. He said

the private companies will be more careful, effective and serious in running the business.

He said Thimphu alone generates 50 tonnes of wastes per day which is why the Memelakha landfill capacity has been increased. The present landfill of3.41 acres has a capacity for three years, however, expansion works on the lower part of Memelakha landfill will extend the capacity to 10 years. The Memelakha landfill operation started in 1994 and it was initially designed to be operational for only eight years.

The landfill also comes with environmental dangers, like leachate, which if uncontrolled can leak into the soil. TDM has constructed a leachate collection tank and diluting harmful gases, like methane from the vent pipes.

TDM will divide city into three zones for waste collection; north, core area and south. TDM will monitor the waste collection and private entities will only collect and dispose the waste in the landfill. The private waste collectors quote their price for the zone.

“Collection and payments will be done by Thimphu Thromde. Private waste collectors have to quote from beginning for the area,” he said.

TDM manages only municipal waste (household waste) and E-waste is managed by Department of Information Technology & Telecom (DITT). There are 17 vehicles deployed for waste collections, one driver each with two handy boys. There are five people working in Memelakha landfill.

Yeshi Wangdi said outsourcing will be carried out at the end of this year. Payment will be made by TDM to the private waste collector but how much TDM would pay the private collector is being decided. Once this is finalized TDM will announce it in the media to get more number of participants.

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