What a Waste!

Southasia - - BRIEFINGS -

Even a small coun­try like Bhutan is find­ing it dif­fi­cult to tackle the grow­ing prob­lem of garbage dis­posal. More than 30 per­cent of Bhutanese live in ur­ban cen­ters where solid waste is a big chal­lenge. Now the prob­lem is spread­ing to vil­lages as well. Ac­cord­ing to en­gi­neers and en­vi­ron­ment of­fi­cers, the cur­rent solid waste man­age­ment prac­tices in the coun­try are poor. Mon­gar dzongkhag, for in­stance, gen­er­ates almost 1,400kg of waste a day. The present land­fill of the dis­trict is al­ready sat­u­rated and the au­thor­i­ties are hav­ing trou­ble in find­ing a new waste dis­posal site. In Gasa, which has a pop­u­la­tion of about 1,000, waste gen­er­a­tion is over 120kg a day.

Most dis­tricts cur­rently do not have a sys­tem­atic way of col­lect­ing and treat­ing waste. As a re­sult, peo­ple dump waste in open pits. Var­i­ous trekking routes are also lit­tered with garbage. En­vi­ron­ment of­fi­cers and mu­nic­i­pal en­gi­neers sug­gest that out-sourc­ing of the col­lec­tion and seg­re­ga­tion of solid waste can help re­duce the bur­den of gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and can also open business op­por­tu­ni­ties for pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als.

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