Waste: After missing two deadlines, extension work on the 3.41-acre landfill in Memelakha will be completed this week.

Thimphu Thromde’s head of solid waste management Yeshi Wangdi said the extension of the landfill by 0.98 acres could not be completed on time because the contractors faced difficulty in putting the pipes together.

“We tried to discuss the issue via email and telephone but it did not work so we decided to wait for the expertise from Japan to reach here,” he said.

The technical experts are now in the country and the issues are being discussed. Japan Environmental and Sanitation Center in collaboration with Thimphu thromde designed the blueprint for the new landfill. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funded the project worth Nu 3.2M.

Work to extend the Memelakha landfill with a network of pipes and tanks for leachate collection, started in February this year. The extension would also address the mounting waste disposal problem in the capital.

Yeshi Wangdi said the issue of leachate generation during rainy season would be controlled with the new network of pipes underneath. The leachate collected in the tanks will be treated in the treatment plant located at the Babesa sewage tank.

Thimphu city produces 25 metric tons of waste every day. After Greener Way took over the collection and disposal of waste in the central and southern zones in the city in January, there has been a reduction in the waste dumped at the Memelakha landfill. The segregation of waste at source helped reduce waste at the landfill.

According to Greener Way officials, on an average, 1,010 metric tonnes of waste are dumped at Memelakha every month.  About 62 percent of the amount has been diverted from the landfill as of now.

The Memelakha landfill is located about 12 kilometers from the city, and was built in 1993. Until 2010, the disposal site was used as an open dumpsite without any major infrastructure.

By Dechen Tshomo