Proper waste management has always been an issue with the residents of Thimphu city. However, the issue is even graver in places that fall outside the Thromde area. Without a regular waste pickup truck to collect garbage, the residents have been resorting to storing waste in their stores and toilets. The issue is, however, expected to be resolved. Following frequent requests from the public, Thimphu District Administration together with the Thromde and the National Environment Commission will be providing municipal waste pickup trucks to all the areas outside the city from April this year.
Piles of garbage stocked near shops and residential buildings are a common sight in areas such as Khasadrapchu, Kabesa, Hontsho, Namseling, and Genekha in Thimphu.
Some residents have even accumulated the waste in their store rooms waiting to dump it in the waste pickup truck which arrives only once in two to three months.
When the vehicle does come occasionally, the residents have to bear the fuel and the driver’s charges which range from Nu 200 to 300 per household.
These areas do have designated waste drop-off centres. But the residents say as the facilities are located far from the settlement, they are unable to dispose of the waste at the centres.
“We have to pay up to Nu 300 monthly and sometimes even weekly for the waste pickup truck. We don’t have a proper place so we store the waste in the toilet and store rooms. The house owners do not allow us to keep the waste behind the building. Even if we did, the dogs scatter them everywhere,” said Yodsel Dema, a resident of Kabesa in Thimphu.
“We don’t have regular waste collector trucks like in the town. We have requested Thrompon to provide us with municipal trucks. It is convenient for shopkeepers with vehicles but for us, we have to dump the waste accumulated in front of our shops at the waste drop-off centre which is about twenty minutes by walk,” said Dawa Lhamo, a resident of Khasadrapchu.
Pema Tamang, a shopkeeper at Khasadrapchu said they have been accumulating wastes in cartons and dumping them at the drop-off centre every few days. “Our shop produces a lot of waste. We have been collecting the waste in a big carton which gets filled within three to four days. Then we have to carry it on our backs to the waste drop-off centre which is very tiring.”
“It takes about three to four months for the municipal truck to reach here for the waste collection. Sometimes the trucks do not reach here even after we pay them. It’s been long since the last time trucks came to collect our wastes,” added Tshewang Rinzin, another resident of Khasadrapchu.
According to the National Environment Commission’s Waste Department, Thimphu Thromde is developing a tender document to select contractors, one each for north and south Thimphu. The thromde will float the tender tentatively by the first week of February. The vehicles will be handed over to the contractors who will then carry out the collection of wastes from the areas outside the Thromde.
Edited by Phub Gyem