Managing waste in Thimphu becomes challenging

Published on Feb 19 2009 // Main News

Thimphu, February 19, 2009: Participants of a seminar in Thimphu have pointed out the increasing difficulties they have been facing in managing the piles of garbage in recent years. 

A scene from Memelakha landfill site

A scene from Memelakha landfill site

They said local residents are less concerned about the pollution and spoiling beauty of the city caused by the garbage and unmanaged city system. Until recently, the city was well talked for cleanliness and without vehicular congestion despite absence of traffic police. 

Large numbers of shops have abruptly sprouted along the roadsides and polythene bags are carelessly used and thrown anywhere though its use was ban since 1999. People throw the wastes on the road nearby their houses.  The city corporation has taken lesser initiative for collection the pollutants due to lack of proper dumping site. Memelakha landfill site is almost filled up.

The smaller ponds and rivers have turned into vehicle washing centers adding owe to the already polluted Thimphu, leading to pollution of water as well.

City Corporation has fined 30,000 people so far for throwing waster carelessly but that has become futile in controlling the pollution of the city. In October last year, government launched ‘Clean Bhutan’ campaign yet it lasted only through the campaign period. Several times, the city corporation had taken initiatives to educate people on using the waste bins kept at various centers. However, many of them remain filled up as the corporation failed to throw the waste.

In November, the local authority had introduced Thimphu Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules and Regulations 2007 while also covered urinating and defecating within city limits as offences. The City Corporation had appointed 20 environment inspectors to implement the act.

Since 2002 the amount of waste generated daily in Thimphu has more than tripled from 11 to 35 metric tonnes.

Download to read a presentation by city corporation official on managing waste in the city.