Thimphu Thromde has decided to reduce dumping of waste and littering in the city. Garbage trucks will be made available on time.

The initiatives include maintaining the garbage trucks’ coverage as per schedule, collecting waste after office hours, and ensuring joint monitoring efforts.

Environment officer with Thimphu thromde, Tshering Yangzom, said that people disposed of waste without care because garbage trucks did not arrive at all or on time.

She said that providers of garbage collection services were are not able to maintain timetable because garbage collector trucks were nonfunctional most of the time.  “Non-availability of spare parts for the trucks is a problem too.”

There are 13 garbage collector trucks with Greener Way and five with Clean City. Often only half the number put together are on collection duty. Thromde has 24 garbage trucks. All the garbage trucks have GPS systems installed for the thromde to monitor their movement.

Tshering Yangzom said that the thromde had been asking service providers to put all the trucks on road. “Thromde also sends its back-up trucks when the service providers’ trucks have problem, which has helped reduce number of complaints,” she said.

Another initiative thromde adopted to curb illegal dumping of waste is collecting waste from places that produce the most waste after office hours. Currently, garbage trucks cater to Olakha and Changzamtog areas after office hours. In Changzamtog, it was started from June 6.

Tshering Yangzom said that Changzamtog, Olakha and Motithang have the most reported cases of illegal dumping of municipal waste.

She said that the garbage trucks are not available in all the places in Olakha and Changzamtog before 9am due to their large population. “So we changed the schedule from day time collection to evening collection.”

If waste is dumped in private land, owner will be held accountable, Tshering Yangzom.

Thromde officials and service providers go for inspection at least once a week. Tshering Yangzom said that the joint monitoring could help solve the issues at source. “If the people complain about certain issues, then there are people to respond including the service providers.”

Along with the monitoring, people are also made aware about the fines, penalties, and segregation of waste.

According to the Waste Prevention and Management Regulation 2012, the fines ranges from Nu 100 for acts such as littering, urinating or defecating and smearing lime and spitting doma in public areas to Nu 20,000 for dumping and releasing waste into prohibited areas under the regulation and dumping of industrial waste without permit from the relevant authority.

Thromde is also planning to establish drop-off stations in the next fiscal year to reduce dumping of the waste.

Karma Cheki