Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

After 16 years of open waste dumping, Phuentsholing Thromde is opting for a new method of waste management system, the semi-aerobic landfill system.

This method of dumping system, which is also known as the Fukuoka Method, is expected to cater to 15 metric tonnes (MT) of waste every day.

The system is implemented in Phuentsholing Thromde through JICA office support. An official from the waste management division in the Thromde had undertaken a month-long training in Japan.

After his return, Jamtsho Dukpa continued his efforts with the support from the thromde office.

“This method will not give problems to the thromde for over 30 years as the method can decompose the waste at a faster rate,” he said.

He said the main purpose of this method is to stabilise the wastes to make it more hygienic through proper dumping and using a natural metabolic function. 

The Fukuoka Method, Jamtsho Dukpa said, will provide oxygen through ventilation to the micro-organisms in the wastes, which doesn’t happen in the conventional method.

“A perforated piping system is laid for the flow of leachate and when the leachate flows out, the oxygen enters into the waste,” he said.

Leachate is the waste (chemical) liquid generated from the decomposition of waste and water.

“When the air flows from the pipe, micro-organisms become active and convert methane gas into carbon dioxide,” the waste management head said.

He also explained the Fukuoka Method contributes to preventing global warming by converting the methane gas into carbon dioxide and the land can still be used after the maturation period of the landfill.

This process also controls the toxicity of the leachate generated from the waste and prevents ground pollution and increases landfill stability.

Being one of the biggest commercial towns in the country, Phuentsholing generates about 15MT of wastes every day.

“Our target is to minimise the volume of wastes every year,” Jamtsho Dukpa said.