Coinciding with the environment day, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen inaugurated the waste recovery centre (transfer station) at Ngabiphu, Thimphu yesterday. Her Majesty also launched the behaviour change strategy and Thimphu thromde signage guideline 2017 during the inauguration.

The recovery centre will be used to sort dry waste and recover recyclables before transferring the residual waste to Memelakha landfill.

Greener Way built the centre at about Nu 40 million. The construction work began in January 2015 and was completed at the end of last year.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that Thimphu thromde produces about 50 tonnes of waste a day, 25 tonnes of which are dry waste. “Only the waste which cannot be recovered or reused such as diapers and tissues are taken to the Memelakha landfill.”

He said that only about 15 percent of waste which cannot be recovered along with the 25 tonnes of organic waste would be going to Memelakha landfill. “About 500 tonnes of waste was recovered last year without the recovery centre. With the recovery centre we expect to recover five times more.”

Thromde is also planning to construct a compost plant at Memelakha, which is expected to complete by the end of this year.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that if all the waste going to Memelakha landfill is recovered, the place could be turned into a park in future.

Along with enhancing the life span of Memelakha landfill, the transfer station would also help provide credible data on municipal solid waste generated and its composition.

The thrompon said that the centre would also provide employment opportunities to about 30 to 40 people.

Recovered pet bottles, cardboard boxes, tins and aluminium items are labelled and transported to recycling centres in Pasakha, other recycling agencies in the country such as green roads, and the neighbouring towns across the border. The paper waste is sent to Bjemina to be recycled into egg trays.

The centre is also planning to convert the recovered plastic waste into granules before transporting for recycling.

Green road, RENEW, Youth Development Fund and the thromde also displayed their waste recycled products which ranged from flower pots, fencing poles, baskets, photo frames, egg trays and mats to organic compost.

Karma Cheki