24.4 Metric Tonnes Of Waste Collected Since The Start Of Zero Waste Hour Initiative In Thimphu

Email

Thinley Dorji believes that the situation and mind-set of people are expected to improve as they keep moving forward with the initiative.

Cleaning campaign was conducted by the staff of the Royal Textile Academy along Norzin Lam, Yarden Lam and campus of the RTA as a part of the 4th Zero Waste Hour on 2 Sept 2019. (Source: Royal Textile Academy)

 

By Chimi Dema | Kuensel

Since the start of the Zero Waste Hour initiative in Thimphu, volunteers have collected about 24.4 metric tonnes of solid and organic waste.

About 731 individuals, including officials from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, members of civil society organisations, private agencies and volunteers from institutions and schools participated in four cleaning campaigns conducted in four months.

Among the waste collected, plastics constituted the highest component in all the cleaning campaigns conducted, followed by rubber, glass, clothes, wood, metal, and papers.

 

Source: Facebook/National Environment Commission

 

All the components of waste collected were segregated by the Thimphu Thromde (second-level administrative division), to be diverted and disposed subsequently.

Observed for an hour on the second day of every month through involvement of offices and institutions, the National Environment Commission Secretariat, as the lead implementing agency, aspires to achieve Bhutan’s vision of a Zero Waste Society by 2030.

Aims of the Zero Waste Hour Initiative in Thimphu

In an effort to move towards this vision, the Zero Waste Hour is expected to eliminate illegal dumping of waste and inculcate behavioural change in the public towards proper waste management.

Bhutanese are also encouraged to practice sustainable consumption lifestyle, leading to a safe, healthy and clean community environment.

However, despite these efforts, the unchanged dynamics of waste collected from different areas in Thimphu in each cleaning campaign led the organisers to question the overarching goal of the event.

The Chief Environment Officer with the Waste Management Division, NECS, Thinley Dorji said that unless a detailed survey is carried out, it cannot be determined how effective the programme is in inculcating a sense of social responsibility amongst residents and communities towards proper waste management.

 

Source: Youtube/Stories

 

He also mentioned that in areas where they have cleaned during the campaign, waste is already accumulating.

“We have also noticed waste being accumulated in some private premises for years,” he said.

Thinley Dorji said that landowners and residents would be made responsible to clean their premises henceforth.

“Currently, it is in our plan to coordinate with the Thromde and discuss on imposing penalty to those who fail to abide by the rule.”

Rules laid out to reduce waste

According to the Waste Prevention and Management Regulation 2012, fines start from Nu 100 for acts such as littering, urinating or defecating, smearing lime and spitting doma (areca nut) in public areas.

A person is liable to pay Nu 20,000 fine for dumping and releasing waste into prohibited areas as well as dumping of industrial waste without permit, according to the regulations.

Thinley Dorji believes that the situation and mind-set of people are expected to improve as they keep moving forward with the initiative.

Curbing Greenhouse Gas emission in the long run

Meanwhile, the Assistant Environment Officer with NECS, Ugyen Tshomo said the initiative is also targeted to reduce waste generation at its source, which will help in curbing GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emission from the waste sector in the long run.

Methane emission from landfill sites as a result of anaerobic organic waste decay is a major source of man-made methane gas.

Graphic: Eidclimate.org

 

“Methane gas emission from the waste sector is 23 times more potent at trapping heat in the atmosphere than the common GHG, carbon dioxide and contributes to global warming and climate change,” said Ugyen Tshomo.

Contribution of GHG from the waste sector has been increasing in the country since 1999, according to the National Waste Management Strategy 2019.

In fact, by 2050, the GHG emission from the waste sector is projected to increase by six times, from current 200,000 to 1.6m Gigagram.

Impact of population growth on waste accumulation

Today, Thimphu’s only landfill in Memelakha collects around 40.3 metric tonnes of waste daily.

With population growth, economic activities, proliferation of non-biodegradable goods in the market as well as a change in consumption patterns in society are the factors which contributed to increased waste in Bhutan.

Thimphu’s solid waste generation is projected to increase to 124 metric tonnes per day by 2027, if an estimated 200,000 people lives in the capital, according to the Strategic Environment Assessment for Thimphu’s structure plan.

As of March 2017, the capital’s population has reached 114,551 according to the Housing Census and Population 2017.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.

 



Related Posts

Buckwheat From Bhutan Gaining Popularity For Its Nutritional And...

Buckwheat flour is often used to make delicious pancakes or noodles in Bhutan.

Oct 23, 2019 21:58

How Bhutan Managed To Maintain 72% Of Its Land Under Forest Cover

This widely acclaimed feat was made possible, kudos to the far-sighted vision of a handful of people in the past.

Oct 22, 2019 21:55

Malaya: Bhutanese Jewelry Line Inspired By The Spirits And...

The brand started in 2016 and the two partners have been regularly releasing new items ever since.

Oct 19, 2019 23:58

Meet Yeshi Choden – Bhutan’s First Women Satellite Engineer, A...

Yeshi Choden, 25, got interested in Space Engineering out of curiosity as the discipline is a completely new course in...

Oct 18, 2019 14:08

Weavers Of The Much Sought After Kharza-Kop Bags From Jangphutse,...

For generations, women in this hamlet in Bhutan have been weaving bags as their main occupation.

Oct 16, 2019 23:28

Patra – Bhutanese Art Of Wood Carving

Patra carvings can be found in the production of books, images, architectural designs, furniture and many other wooden...

Oct 10, 2019 10:18

Latest

News

Bhutan’s GDP Growth Projected By IMF To Be Above Global Average

According to the World Bank, Bhutan's GDP growth is expected to jump to 7.4 percent this fiscal year.

Oct 21, 2019 22:08

Snowman Run – As Important As It Is For Bhutan, The Run Is For The World

The run was envisioned by His Majesty The King after multiple visits to the highlands.

Oct 14, 2019 20:28

Features

Buckwheat From Bhutan Gaining Popularity For Its Nutritional And Medicinal Values

Buckwheat flour is often used to make delicious pancakes or noodles in Bhutan.

Oct 23, 2019 21:58

How Bhutan Managed To Maintain 72% Of Its Land Under Forest Cover

This widely acclaimed feat was made possible, kudos to the far-sighted vision of a handful of people in the past.

Oct 22, 2019 21:55

Sports

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Tour Of The Dragon – Toughest One Day Bike Race Starts On 7 September In Bhutan

It takes sheer toil and stamina for the top riders to complete the 268 km race which finishes at the capital, Thimphu.

Sep 06, 2019 23:58

Business

Cottage & Small Industries Flagship Programme Rolled Out In Bhutan, Set To Create More Jobs

The CSI sector was identified as one the flagship programme in view of its greater socio-economic roles in Bhutan.

Oct 11, 2019 15:38

Bhutan’s Himalayan Food Aims To Produce Healthy Snacks With A Worldwide Reach

Himalayan Food currently produces potato chips, apple chips and banana chips.

Sep 25, 2019 23:58

Travel

7th Jomolhari Mountain Festival Showcases Unique Culture Of The Highlanders

The festival has become an important event where the highlanders get to showcase their unique culture and traditions.

Oct 15, 2019 23:28

Plans In The Pipeline To Set Up More Homestays In Sakteng, Eastern Bhutan

We are hopeful that our homestay business in Sakteng will boom with the increase in the number of tourists."

Oct 12, 2019 12:43

Lifestyle

Launch Of Karen Greenspan’s Footfalls From The Land Of Happiness: A journey Into The Dances Of Bhutan

The book delves into familiar subjects that are what continues to shape Bhutan’s image.

Oct 05, 2019 10:18

Critically Acclaimed Film - Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, Showcases The Magic Of Bhutan’s Highlands

Directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji, this highly acclaimed movie has been accepted for more than 10 international film festivals.

Sep 23, 2019 23:28

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!