Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

With rapid urbanisation, amount of waste collected from residents of Mongar town area has increased significantly, posing tremendous challenge to the residents and dzongkhag administration.

Residents said that a garbage truck currently collects dry wastes twice a week and wet only once. The collection frequency, they say, needs to be increased.

“The waste, especially dry, piles up and occupies space,” a resident, Dorji, said. “We also cannot maintain hygiene.”

Dzongkhag officials agreed that there is currently just one truck and increasing frequency of collection is not possible. The truck also collects waste from two extended towns of Gyalpoizhing and Kilikhar.

Going by the record maintained by dzongkhag human settlement sector, more than 18 metric tonnes of dry waste and around four metric tonnes of wet waste is collected in a week and dumped at the landfill site at Konbar, about eight kilometers away from Mongar town.

Anticipating space issue, the dzongkhag is planning to extend the vertical wall of the landfill site.

The dzongkhag is planning to procure two more garbage trucks.

Mongar dzongrab, Jamyang Cheda, said that given the mounting pressure of space and compaction cost, the dzongkhag administration is willing to outsource waste collection to interested private individuals with transportation support.

The dzongkhag administration is also willing to support with the recommendation letter for access to finance.

The assistant engineer, Dechen Dorji, who looks after municipal waste and sanitation, said with the amount of wastes increasing everyday, compaction might have to be done frequently.

Segregation is a huge problem at the site today. Medical waste is currently being burnt separately at the site and with the medical incinerator installation at different site underway medical waste issue is expected to be addressed.

Dechen Dorji said the dzongkhag is planning to construct compost shed to turn waste into manure.

Tshelthrim Pelzang, an entrepreneur who has been selling scrap for some years and wants to start waste recycling project said  lack of finance and difficulty in getting waste collectors deterred his plan.