Waste man­age­ment a ris­ing is is­sue

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Bhuma Ghal­ley

With the great ad­vance­ment in the so­cio eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties, it has change the con­sump­tion pat­tern across the pop­u­la­tion. Due to this it has re­sulted in­crease in waste and be­com­ing a con­cern­ing is­sue.

Part of the rea­son con­tribut­ing to waste man­age­ment prob­lem is lack of civic re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and lack of self aware­ness. It is not un­com­mon to see ugly sight of garbage dumped on the road side, solid waste thrown away at river banks, and land­fills amassed with huge amount of rub­bish.

The Waste Prevention and Man­age­ment Reg­u­la­tion, 2012, which came into ef­fect on 18 April 2012 in Bhutan is a com­pre­hen­sive reg­u­la­tion for the waste min­i­miza­tion and man­age­ment. It es­tab­lishes var­i­ous agen­cies and mon­i­tor­ing au­thor­i­ties for the ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of this reg­u­la­tion, and is ap­plied to all point sources and point of ori­gin of dif­fer­ent types of waste and their man­age­ment.

Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment Com­mis­sion ( NEC) is the apex mon­i­tor­ing body un­der this reg­u­la­tion which shall co­or­di­nate and mon­i­tor the over­all per­for­mance of im­ple­ment­ing Agen­cies des­ig­nated to ef­fi­ciently im­ple­ment the pro­vi­sions of this Reg­u­la­tion. And the Royal Bhutan Po­lice shall as­sist the im­ple­ment­ing agen­cies in achiev­ing full com­pli­ance.

In Bhutan its not a new things to see ugly sight of garbage throw on the road­side, at river banks, and land­fills amassed with huge amount of rub­bish. Its is be­com­ing more dif­fi­cul­ties for mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to man­age waste in ef­fi­cient man­ner. Ma­te­rial that come from sources like: House­hold, busi­ness and com­mer­cial es­tab­lish­ment and in­dus­trial sites. Biomed­i­cal waste comes from source like hospi­tal and clin­ics.

Talk­ing to BT the En­vi­ron­ment Of­fi­cer with Thim­phu Thromde Phub Tsh­er­ing said that the chal­lenges in waste man­age­ment are of two types. One is with il­le­gal dump­ing of waste, de­spite in­creas­ing the fre­quency of waste col­lec­tion af­ter out­sourc­ing the Thromde still finds peo­ple dump­ing the wastes in nook and cor­ner of the city as it could be due to wrong tim­ing of col­lec­tion as the res­i­dent may be en­gaged in other ac­tiv­i­ties.

The other is the non­co­op­er­a­tion in segregation and dis­posal of the waste where the segregation of waste is be­ing ini­ti­ated in the Thromde but still few res­i­dents are still non- co­op­er­a­tive.

“We have asked the res­i­dent to segregation the waste into DRY and WET and bring along both the waste. When our handy boys and driv­ers refuse to take, these peo­ple re­sort to quar­rel and other things.” He added.

In or­der to over­come these chal­lenges the Thim­phu Thor­mde had pi­loted evening ser­vices since there has been lots of com­plaints re­lated to col­lec­tion tim­ing.

“We have pi­loted evening ser­vices at Changjiji colony and Olakha area. A sim­i­lar case has been done in North­ern parts of the city too.”

The other ini­tia­tive is the CCTV sur­veil­lance where the Thromde had in­stalled some CCTV in strate­gic lo­ca­tions to mon­i­tor the area for il­le­gal dump­ing. Since these CCTV are wire­less it can be shifted to other ar­eas as and when re­quired.

Waste dis­posal is an emerg­ing prob­lem in al­most all the ur­ban towns in Bhutan. The in­crease in waste gen­er­a­tion can be pri­mar­ily at­trib­uted to fac­tors such as rapid rates of ur­ban­iza­tion; ru­ral- ur­ban mi­gra­tion. While the mag­ni­tude of the prob­lem is rel­a­tively small and man­age­able in ru­ral ar­eas.

But slowly as in­crease in con­sump­tion even the ru­ral area are not far be­hind. While there are com­par­a­tively more fa­cil­i­ties and even data con­cern­ing ur­ban waste man­age­ment is­sues, there are less num­ber of agen­cies and peo­ples con­cerned about ru­ral waste man­age­ment is­sue or even working on it.

This is when ru­ral waste man­age­ment is be­com­ing a na­tion­wide is­sue with plas­tic and junks find­ing its way not only into vil­lages but also wa­ter sources, sa­cred sites and un­til re­cently our pre­cious for­est.

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