…𝑻𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒎𝒅𝒆’𝒔 𝒅𝒆𝒅𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒄𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒏-𝒖𝒑 𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒈𝒈𝒍𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒍𝒆 𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒎 𝒂𝒔 𝒑𝒖𝒃𝒍𝒊𝒄 𝒏𝒆𝒈𝒍𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒔 𝒄𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒄 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚
In Thimphu, the bustling city bus parking area has become a hotbed of waste accumulation, raising concerns among citizens. Local residents have expressed their disappointment over the deteriorating cleanliness of the area, emphasizing the need for individual accountability in waste management.
Speaking about the issue, Tashi Wangchuk, a concerned citizen, said, “The city bus parking in Thimphu is undoubtedly the busiest place, but unfortunately, it has also become a dumping ground for waste. It is crucial for us, as responsible citizens, to understand that the burden of waste management does not solely lie with the Thromde or local authorities. It is our individual responsibility to take care of our own waste.”
The accumulation of waste in the area not only diminishes the city’s aesthetic appeal but also poses health and environmental hazards. Pema Dorji, another resident, urged fellow citizens to be mindful of their waste disposal practices, emphasizing, “We cannot rely solely on the Thromde to address this issue. Each one of us needs to take responsibility for our waste and ensure proper disposal. Only through collective action can we maintain a clean and healthy environment for ourselves and future generations.”
One of the bus drivers expressed, “In order to maintain a clean environment, each bus is equipped with a dedicated dustbin. However, despite these efforts, there are still individuals who indiscriminately dispose of waste wherever they please. During every break from my work, I personally take the initiative to clean the area again. On weekdays, the sight of numerous waste items in the vicinity is not uncommon, as people tend to consume junk food during their waiting time and carelessly discard the plastic packaging in the immediate vicinity.”
Reflecting on the issue, another bus driver expressed, “As bus drivers, we strive to keep our buses and surroundings clean for the comfort of our passengers. It’s disheartening to see some people neglecting the dustbins provided in each bus. Despite our best efforts, there are those who choose to litter indiscriminately. During my breaks, I take the responsibility to tidy up the area once again. On regular weekdays, the accumulation of waste is quite noticeable, especially as passengers consume snacks and casually dispose of their plastic waste in the vicinity.”
The dedicated individuals of the Thromde, in contrast, diligently arrive every Saturday morning to address the aftermath of the mess created by the public.
According to the Waste Prevention and Management Regulation, 2012, which came into effect on 18 April 2012 in Bhutan, the individuals will be fined Nu.100 per stance for the offence of littering at any public places.
While the Thromde continues to play a vital role in waste management infrastructure and services, the current situation necessitates a collective effort from every individual to combat the growing waste problem. By taking personal responsibility for waste disposal and embracing sustainable habits, citizens can contribute to a cleaner, healthier, and more environmentally conscious Thimphu.
An official of Thromde said, “Regarding the responsibility for the mess in town, it is a shared responsibility among individuals, the community, and Thromde. While some trash may come through drains due to improper disposal, individuals also have a responsibility to dispose of their waste properly and avoid littering. “
She added, “The Thromde has plans to carry out awareness campaigns to educate the public about the importance of proper waste disposal. This can include information on how to segregate waste, use designated bins, and discourage throwing trash into drains. Education can be conducted through various channels, schools, social media, and public announcements. There are also drop-off centers where their waste can be disposed and also the waste collection frequency has increased so we believe that since we are catering to the waste disposal till the doorstep of every household there should not be any issue with waste disposal. We are trying our best, but if every individual comes on board, then this waste issue can be solved. Don’t leave it up to one institution to clean up your mess.”
As the city bus parking area struggles with waste accumulation, it is now imperative for citizens to recognize their role in maintaining a clean and sustainable environment. By working hand in hand with local authorities and adopting responsible waste management practices, Thimphu can overcome this challenge and set an example for other cities in the country.