Jigmi Wangdi

The Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) organised a mass cleaning campaign to observe the International Day of Zero Waste yesterday.

The department partnered with various organisations like the de-suung office, Bhutan Red Cross Society, Guide Association of Bhutan, Taxi Association of Bhutan, Thimphu Thromde, Thimphu Dzongkhag Administration, and Department of Tourism to mark the first official International Zero Waste Day.

A total of 288 volunteers, divided into 19 groups, cleaned the entire Thimphu city.

Nima Zangpo, a de-suup, said that a total of 212 de-suups volunteered for the cleaning. “De-suups carry out mass cleaning activities every month in all dzongkhags. We have conducted such cleaning activities more than 10 times within Thimphu alone. We do this as a way to create awareness about waste management.”

He said that it is also important for citizens to be responsible and dispose of their waste properly.

Bhutan has already launched the Zero Waste campaign back on June 2, 2019, coinciding with the Coronation Day of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, under the leadership of Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen.

An official from the DECC said that since the launch of the campaign, Bhutan has been observing “Zero-Waste Hour” on the 2nd day of every month to achieve the country’s vision of a Zero Waste Society.

Such awareness campaigns have become important for Bhutan as tourism is steadily picking up again.

“Along most paths I trekked, there is a lot of waste.  During our last hike, we collected two bags of waste. According to my guide, most waste came from locals,” said a tourist.