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

Civil Servants Sponsored Festival In Remote Village Of Bhutan,...

The tshechu draws devotees from across the dzongkhag, and even the neighbouring Indian town of Tawang.

Dec 11, 2019 13:18

Five High End Hotels From Bhutan Bagged International Awards

The five award winning hotels are: dusitD2 Yarkay, Terma Linca Resort and Spa, Zhiwaling Heritage, Le Meridien Thimphu...

Dec 02, 2019 22:38

Accelerating Innovation Workshop Aims To Deliver More Effective...

The UNDP, in collaboration with the Gross National Happiness Commission organised the workshop.

Nov 28, 2019 23:58

Haa Gears Up To Host Bhutan’s 6th Royal Flower Exhibition In June...

The June 2020 exhibition will mark the first time that Haa will be holding the event.

Nov 25, 2019 12:48

Bhutan Set To Welcome More Tourists From Kuwait, Following Visit...

Yousef M.A.A Hassan expressed his wish that he would like Bhutan’s tourism sector to receive a share of Kuwaiti...

Nov 23, 2019 12:38

Homestays Gaining Popularity With Tourists Seeking To Experience...

Villagers were provided with grants to help them develop homestay facilities such as indoor plumbing.

Nov 18, 2019 21:58

Latest

News

Korean International Cooperation Agency Contributes US$4m To WFP Bhutan, In Support Of School Feeding Programme

It seeks to assist the transition and scaling-up of the school feeding programme to a national school nutrition programme.

Dec 13, 2019 14:18

Canadian Delegation Held 1st Biennial Consultations, Set To Foster Closer Ties With Bhutan

The two sides exchanged views on the recent political, economic developments and bilateral cooperation in Bhutan and Canada.

Nov 26, 2019 23:38

Features

Civil Servants Sponsored Festival In Remote Village Of Bhutan, Brought Joy To Many

The tshechu draws devotees from across the dzongkhag, and even the neighbouring Indian town of Tawang.

Dec 11, 2019 13:18

Five High End Hotels From Bhutan Bagged International Awards

The five award winning hotels are: dusitD2 Yarkay, Terma Linca Resort and Spa, Zhiwaling Heritage, Le Meridien Thimphu and Taj Tashi hotels.

Dec 02, 2019 22:38

Sports

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

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

Business

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Namgyle Dorji & Nagendra Kafley Of Bundle.bt

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Dec 09, 2019 14:38

India, Singapore And Thailand – Top 3 Asian Foreign Direct Investments In Bhutan

The total number of FDI projects in Bhutan stands at 83 as of November this year.

Dec 07, 2019 19:28

Travel

Bhutan’s Black-Necked Crane Festival Drawing More Foreign Tourists

Some 500 tourists from around the world came to Bhutan to see the Black-Necked Crane festival, exceeding the number of locals.

Nov 14, 2019 23:18

Bhutan Bird Festival Set Bird Watching Haven Of Zhemgang Abuzz

Zhemgang is home to more than 500 species of birds, which is an area much sought after by bird watchers from around the world.

Nov 13, 2019 12:48

Lifestyle

Bhutanese Textiles To Be Exhibited In Paris Trade Fair 2020

The exhibition is an initiative of the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project.

Nov 10, 2019 12:48

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

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!