People wondering what to do with waste papers could now sell them to Bhutan’s first-ever waste paper recycling unit in Bjemina.

The waste paper recycling unit is manufacturing egg trays and the fund generated from the industry could go for disadvantaged people, especially YDF beneficiaries.

Officials from Youth Development Fund (YDF) said they spent about Nu 8 million annually on rehabilitation programme and the unit was established as social enterprises to meet the cost of a rehabilitation programme.

YDF’s director, Jigme Thinley, said the machine has the capacity to produce 4,800 trays a day. “But because of the limited space to dry, we produce only 3,000 a day.”

He said when fully operational, the unit can produce more than 1 million egg trays per year, generating approximately Nu 936,000 as profit. “The profit generated would be reinvested to sustain YDF’s drugs rehabilitation programme.”

Meanwhile, the industry is a YDF social enterprise, meaning it provides employment to young people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and also because it would manage wastes, clean the environment and reduces 50 percent import of egg trays.

As of now, six people were recruited in the industry with a monthly salary of Nu 8,000 a month.

YDF officials say two slots are for young people recovering from drugs and alcohol addiction. “We are giving opportunities for people who are beneficiaries of YDF’s drugs rehabilitation centre,” Jigme Thinley said.

Officials say they would double the production when the demand increases.  “We need manpower to start shift system and we will recruit more recovering drug dependents,” an official said.

The project in-charge in Bjemina, Karma said about 300 to 400kg of paper waste are used while manufacturing egg tray. “Greener Way is the main supplier of wastes and we could accommodate about 20 tonnes of waste in the area.”

YDF sells the egg trays to Karma One Stop Shop, which is the main importer of egg tray and distributor in the country.

According to YDF, small grants program and Goodwill Community of USA supports the programme in establishing the plant. YDF officials say Goodwill Community provided 65 percent of budget and 30 percent through small grants programme and five percent by YDF.

Neten Dorji