Sherab Lhamo

In a bid to address the escalating problem of littering and irresponsible waste disposal, a Thimphu resident Namgay Wangchuk has taken proactive steps by launching a weekly trash cleanup initiative.

Namgay Wangchuk initiated this weekly effort in 2020, spurred by the sight of discarded face masks littering the town. Frustrated by the prevalent unmindful littering and irresponsible dumping of household waste, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Dedicating himself to a mission of making a difference, even if it meant addressing small areas or individual pieces of litter, Namgay has covered approximately 25 areas in Thimphu.

These include City Bus parking, Sangaygang area to Wangditse, Kuensel Phodrang area, Cheri monastery base, upper area of Changlimithang Stadium and Archery compound, Tandin Nye base, and others.

Additionally, he has extended his cleanup activities to places like Phuentsholing, Gelephu, and Samdrupjongkhar during his tours.

On Saturdays, Namgay goes alone for cleaning, and on Sundays, known as “Super Sunday,” his friends who share the same concern join him.

Reflecting on His Majesty’s National Day address emphasizing the importance of proper waste management, Namgay observed that not many individuals seem to recall and implement it. He expressed a desire to contribute to the nation in response to the efforts of His Majesty, de-suups, and other volunteers and officials during lock downs.

Recalling a challenging situation at the City Bus parking, where he and volunteers had to pick up trash mixed with human faeces leaking from an open pipe, Namgay highlighted people’s indifference as the worst part. He emphasized the lack of remorse among individuals for littering clean places or areas that were cleaned by someone.

Plastic bottles and snack wrappers were the most common waste items encountered during his cleanup efforts. Namgay also expressed concerns about glass bottles thrown in places, posing potential harm to both humans and animals.

While acknowledging the appreciation and encouragement he has received, leading some individuals to replicate his efforts, Namgay urged people to grasp the concept of home and extend their responsibility to every place they occupy—be it at work, play, or leisure.

He emphasised that everyone’s support is essential, as authorities and volunteers alone cannot keep the country clean.