Thimphu Thromde and stakeholders will decide whether the country should use waste incinerator after a viability study is completed.

Environmental officer of Thimphu Tromde, Phub Tshering, said incinerators are expensive and could have financial implications. “High-tech incinerator could cost over millions.”

It was found that a drug incinerator was needed for the safe and efficient destruction of expired prescription drugs or narcotic substances in the country.

The results of the study would be presented to the stakeholders in Thimphu in March. A team of experts from Japan is currently studying the viability of the incinerator.

“After the study, it is up to thromde, National Environment Commission (NEC), Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) and stakeholders to decide whether to use an incinerator,” Phub Tshering said.

It was learnt that some medicines are buried under the ground so that there is no harmful effects, but some medicines have to be incinerated at a temperature of more than 1,000 degree Celsius.

For sustainability, it was recommended that yearly pharmaceutical waste data be collected.

There is an incinerator at Gaeddu, which did not burn waste completely.

Phub Tshering said that as incinerators usually have minimum temperature of over 800 degree Celsius. When wastes are incinerated, even toxic gases are burnt which would have negligible impact on the environment.

Currently, expired pharmaceutical drugs were incinerated in a cement factory in Pasakha, Phuentsholing.

Rinchen Zangmo