To tackle the huge amount of dry waste produced in Thimphu city, the thromde along with other relevant stakeholders have initiated segregation, waste reduction and recycling initiatives.

Thimphu thromde produces 77 trucks of dry waste a week of which 20.4 percent are paper and 11.7 percent plastics.

Environment officer with Thimphu Thromde, Tshering Yangzom, said that dry waste produced in the thromde was taken to the waste recovery centre in Babesa.

With the waste recovery centre fully functional, it would reduce about three by fourth of the dry waste.

The papers are compacted and taken to Bjimina to be recycled into egg trays while the pet bottles are compacted and sold to India.

One of such plastic recycling project is Green Road’s initiative of reusing hard plastics and making different products such as fencing poles, flower pots, saucers and land demarcation pegs.

The founder of Green Road, Rikesh Gurung, said that Green Road uses soft plastics such as carry bags, chips and other wrappers for the construction of roads.

The project today produces flowerpots, different types of fencing poles, plastic threads for weaving different products (both round and flat), saucers, and land demarcation pegs.

Tshering Yangzom said that records with Revenue and Customs show that annually 20 million worth of flowerpots were imported to Bhutan. “That’s only the ones in the government’s record.”

Rikesh Gurung added that unlike the imported hard plastic products, the reused plastic products can be repaired if they break.

The initiative uses about 3.5 kg of hard plastic to produce 120cm by 5cm fencing pole, between five gram and 500g to produce different sizes of flower pots and would utilise about five to six kilogram of hard plastic to produce flag poles.

Hard plastics are bought at Nu 15 a Kilogram. Other plastic wrappers at Nu 10 a kilogram, and papers at Nu five a kilogram.

Tshering Yangzom said that such initiatives would not only benefit the environment but also have social benefits and help generate employment for people.

Thromde is also exploring ways to produce clean sheets using waste papers.

Tshering Yangzom said that the clean sheets could be supplied to schools and offices. “We can also produce other items such as carry bags, gift wrappers and photo frames.”

Karma Cheki