Thimphu Thromde is promoting organic composting to minimise organic waste at source and to reduce pressure on the landfill.

Thromde officials teach individuals and institutions about organic composting mostly during the weekends.

The initiative started at the colonies of Royal Bhutan Police, Royal Bhutan Army, national referral hospital and schools such as Zilnon Namgyelling Primary School, Jigme Losel Primary School, and Little Dragon School from March this year.

Environment officer with Thimphu thromde, Tshering Yangzom, said the thromde is targeting institutions as they produce maximum amount of waste. “The compost can be used for campus beautification and for vegetable gardens,” Tshering Yangzom said. “If they can mass produce we can also buy the compost back from them in future.”

She said that to make the initiative a success, thromde was providing basic materials such as rice husk, rice barn, baskets, follow up services and monitoring. “If they can continue doing the composting, number of collection can be reduced saving transportation cost and reducing pressure on landfill as wet waste directly goes to the landfill.”

Thimphu Thromde produces about 53 tonnes of waste everyday of which 52.9 percent is organic waste. The organic waste is taken to Memelakha landfill where the thromde is planning to establish a compost plant by the end of this year.

Tshering Yangzom said the compost in Serbithang was started in 2010 for about three tonnes of waste a week.  “However, with the increase in population, waste generation increased drastically.”

The plant functioned with normal technique of decomposition.

Tshering Yangzom said that the decomposition which was designed for a small scale when drastically increased failed to manage the huge waste. “There were residents who then settled around the compost plant and had to deal with the smell and flies,” she said. “It was also not safe for the residents.”

Karma Cheki