An official mandated to monitor waste has found a way to minimise e-waste and also mint some cash.
In-charge of the Thimphu thromde waste segregation facility, Dorji Khandu last month started repairing discarded electronics and sold them cheap. And, distributed used clothes from the facility to the needy.
“In a day, I get at least two customers for home appliances. I have earned about Nu 3,000 from selling them,” said Dorji Khandu.
A large quantity of electronic waste was dumped in the yard along with other wastes. “But what if we repair these appliances and use them again? We will reduce the amount of waste in the country,” said Dorji Khandu.
At the same time, his knowledge of repairing electronics came to good use.
“A lot of what people threw can be repaired,” said Dorji Khandu. In water boilers, for instance, the pump does not work or the heating coil was damaged.
Depending on the parts he replaced, he sets the price. He sells home appliances at Nu 300, Nu 500 and Nu 1,000.
“This is like a shop. I would like to expand it in the coming days,” he said. “What costs thousands in the market, I will sell them in a few hundred.”
He repaired water boilers, rice cookers, extension cords, television sets, laptop chargers, heaters, and curry cookers, among others.
During winter, heaters and heavy-duty extension cords could be in demand, he said.
This initiative not only reduces waste but creates employment, said Dorji Khandu.
He has employed six individuals to help him at the centre.
“After work, I stay late and repair them,” said Dorji Khandu.
The clothes collected were distributed to people in villages, auto-mobile mechanics, and the veterinary hospital, he said.
The kitchen wastes were composted.
Dorji Khandu said that the compost sells well. “People want me to make compost in huge amount but, I don’t have space,” he said.
“I feel happy. This is my small contribution do to reduce waste,” said Dorji Khandu.