Wrong timing from waste collectors is reported to hamper effective waste management
Environment: Over 325 metric tonnes (MT) of waste, about 47 truck loads were collected during the 108 cleaning campaigns across the country that the Clean Bhutan project conducted last year.
With a zero-waste by 2030 vision, Clean Bhutan was established on February 6, 2014 and registered as a civil society organization on November 11.
The project has organized 68 advocacy programmes to more than 3,362 high school and college students, government officials and local communities.
About 219 cleaning campaigns were also conducted involving more than 11,930 volunteers across the country.
One of the significant achievements of the organization in the two years was seen in the reduction of packaged tshog (religious offerings).
According to the report, after Clean Bhutan’s advocacy programmes, there has been a reduction of almost 25 percent in packaged tshog. “There has been an increase in the number of people opting for more biodegradable and homemade offerings as tshog,” stated the report.
Clean Bhutan’s executive director, Nedup Tshering, said Tango, Dechenphu and Pangrizampa monasteries in Thimphu and Taktsang in Paro were some of the monasteries that reported a reduction in the package tshog and processed food and drinks. “The memorial choeten in Thimphu saw almost 80 percent reduction in packaged tshog,” he said.
Nedup Tshering said that after the project surveyed the trend of offering packaged tshog and processed foods and drinks during meonlams, festivals and kurims, it was found that the waste generated from these offerings were high.
“It was also found that most monasteries sold the packaged offerings back to the shops. In the process, the food expired, which were circulated as offerings,” he said. “Understanding the importance of the issue, most monasteries agreed to limit on the package offerings.”
The advocacy on the issue started from Taktsang in Paro and then to the other parts of the country, said Nedup Tshering.
In June 2015, a large dustbin was also placed between Taba and Langchuphakha highway as a model to prevent waste being dumped below the highway. Collected twice a week, about 336 MT (48 truck loads) of waste were collected within seven months from the bin. More than six metric tonnes of waste is collected every week.
Nedup Tshering said people are aware about the waste issue in the country. “They want to manage their waste but the wrong timing from waste collectors leave them with no choice,” he said.
Last month, under the Thimchhu Water-keepers project, Clean Bhutan established three real time water quality monitoring equipment along the Thimchhu at Dodena, Lungtenphu and Damchhu to protect the river from pollution and to monitor water quality.
Along with the Project, the Department of Hydro-Met Services and National Environment Commission will receive the data of water quality online from the three stations.
The project has over 415 members across the country.