Schools and institutes try composting as way to reduce waste going to landfill

At Little Dragon Primary School (LDPS) last week, there was a demonstration of how an organic composting method could be employed to reduce kitchen waste going to Memelakha landfill.

Developed by Koji Takakura, a Japanese national, the composting method has been introduced to more than 60 countries.

Koji Takakura has about 14 years of experience in teaching the method. He also has a personal environment research institute in Japan.

Koji Takakura said that the method uses raw materials such as rice husks, wheat flour, yogurt and yeast that are easily available in the country to produce compost.

“For other countries, we tried with corn covers, which was easily available in the surrounding. The method doesn’t use chemicals and only uses organic raw materials,” said Koji Takakura.

About ten students with their parents attended the programme on March 17 at the school.

Chador Wangmo, mother of two, said that such programme would teach children the value of managing their own waste. “I think this kind of method should not be limited to just one or two schools. Waste is problem in other dzongkhags.”

Thromde in collaboration with Japan Environment Sanitation Centre is introducing the method in schools and other institutions in Thimphu.

Thimphu produces about 20.2 tonnes of waste every day, of which 3.4 tonnes are kitchen waste.

Thromde’s environment officer, Tshering Yangzom, said that if the kitchen waste is decreased at the source, about 20 percent of waste going to the landfill could be decreased.

She added that for the sustenance of the landfill, reducing waste at source is important. “The method was first tried at LDPS in September 2017. Today the school uses the compost developed through the method.”

The method was also introduced at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) last week. JDWNRH produces a minimum of 40kg kitchen waste every day. The method was also introduced at Jigme Losel Primary School in Thimphu.

Tshering Yangzom said that the method would be introduced at Zilnon Namgyelling Lower Secondary School that has large neighbouring residents. “We will also introduce the method at Centenary Farmers’ Market in Thimphu. If it goes well, we can also replicate the method to other dzongkhags.”

In the past, Thimphu used to produce 50 tonnes of waste every day, which has reduced to 20 tonnes today.

Tshering Yangzom said that with initiatives from government and private firms, who work to segregate waste at different levels, waste going to the landfill has decreased drastically.

“We plan to have a transport station with greener way to further segregate waste,” Tshering Yangzom said.

Phurpa Lhamo

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