Community lacks waste segregation awareness

Laya grappling with waste problem

Cleaning campaign initiated by Gasa’s dzongkhag administration has helped the remote gewog of Laya look clean, but the community lacks a proper dumpsite.

Waste can be seen thrown carelessly along the footpaths.

On every ninth day of the month, the locals, public organisation and students of Laya Central School go around the village collecting waste as a part of monthly cleaning campaign.

At least 116 kilograms of waste was collected during monthly cleaning from the gewog that has close to 175 households of six chiwogs.

Laya’s Mangmi Tshewang said the waste could be a problem in the community. “Locals and the guest visiting the place used to throw their waste without care. With certain regulations and awareness in place, the waste is taken care of now. However, segregating the waste is a challenge to us,” he said.

Initiated by the gewog administration, more than 120kg of metallic waste was collected from different dumpsites in the gewog two months ago. Mangmi said that about 80 percent of metallic waste was segregated.

“We are planning to segregate plastic waste. The community is not much aware about the need to segregate degradable and non-degradable waste,” said Tshewang. “We are beginning to understand the need to manage waste in the community.”

The gewog administration has selected a spot each in the chiwogs to build a proper dump yard with separate compartments to dispose of degradable and non-degradable waste.

Laya plans to spend about Nu 200,000 to address the waste issue.

Tshewang said that he collected a minimum of 5kg of waste while walking down to Gasa from Laya to Koina.

Laya has lost about 40-decimal green area to waste. Pet bottles, plastics waste, papers, and metallic waste were disposed of at the dumpsites.

The community and school burn and bury the plastics waste. The school also has adopted reuse programme on the campus.

The plastic waste is used as a fence in the school gardens and also to decorate the campus. Glass bottles are collected to build a glass bottle wall and students are encouraged to carry waste bags.

Laya CS principle Khedrupla said the community was reluctant and not responsive in the beginning. “People come forward for the campaign now. They have realised the importance of waste management now. However, the community is not aware about segregating the waste,” he said.

Health officials of Laya BHU suggested a plan to build a waste bin in every chiwog that would enable waste segregation.

Nima | Laya

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