2nd June 2019: The National Environment Commission in coordination with Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation and World Wildlife Fund Bhutan commemorated Coronation Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth King at the Royal Institute for Tourism and Hospitality, Motithang, Thimphu.
During the event, Her Majesty, The Gyaltsuen, Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, royal patron of the environment graced the launch of waste management strategy and programs.
The commemoration was attended by Honorable Prime Minister, Ministers, National Assembly Members, Senior Government officials, CSOs, students and teachers of Thimphu.
1. National Waste Management Strategy
The National Waste Management Strategy is revision of National Integrated Solid Waste Management Strategy 2014. The revision includes all forms of waste and aims to prevent and minimize the generation of waste at source, and to divert materials to be refused, re-used, recovered, and recycled in order to minimize the amount of waste going to the landfill and instead follow the overall context of waste management hierarchy.
The strategic goal is to continuously move/promote towards “Zero Waste Bhutan” in partnership with the public, industry, civil society organizations, and government authorities at local and sectoral levels, municipalities, and with potential donors to be achieved by 2030.
2. Waste Management Flagship Program
In addressing the emerging environmental problems arising from poor management of the waste, the Office of Prime Minister has initiated waste management flagship program under the leadership of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen.
The main goal of the flagship program is to target waste reduction at every point in the process and put in place a strong management set-up and a conscientious monitoring system. The program will aim to institutionalize and mainstream the process within concerned central and local governments, public and private institutions, NGOs and the public at large. In addition, the flagship program will also implement measures to control stray dog population.
The waste management flagship program identifies nine key strategies to effectively manage the waste and control of stray dog population.
The flagship program will be implemented by a special purpose program office created under the leadership of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen and the day-to-day operations of the program to be managed by the Office of the Prime Minister. The Waste Management Flagship Program Office will be the designated coordinating agency for the implementation of identified programs.
3. Zero Waste Hour
Waste management continues to be one of the main challenges faced by developing countries. Even after 23 years of its first waste management system being established in Bhutan, the process is still in its primary stage.
In order to establish a strategic management of waste towards attaining “Zero Waste Society by 2030”, the NECS initiate “Zero Waste Hour” by observing at least one (01) hour on the second day of every month as “Zero Waste Hour”.
The Zero Waste Hour visions to attain a “Zero Waste Society” through involvement of all offices, institutions and every Bhutanese citizen to build a nation that is socially and environmentally responsible. Zero waste hour is an awareness programme to change the mind set of each and every citizens to take responsibility for waste and inculcate civic responsibility. Under the theme, My Waste My Responsibility, Zero Waste is one of the promotion outreach components of the National Waste Management Strategy.
During this one hour, (between 9:00-5:00 PM depending on convenience by all office, institutions and every citizen on the Second Day of Every Month), all offices, institutions and every citizen shall clean their own surrounding areas to make it a waste free environment and inculcate a civic responsibility of managing our own waste.
4. Household Compost Product
Bio-degradable waste from household especially food waste constitutes more than half of waste composition in Bhutan. In order to reduce the waste from source and also to instigate creation of circular economy, organic compositing of food waste was initiated by Thimphu Thromde using the Micro-organism decomposition or Takakura composting technology.
Initiated in March 2018, today, there are 15 community compost centers including Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital and Royal Bhutan Army and over 1200 individual home composting. Almost one ton of organic waste is used for organic composting on a daily basis.
The centers are mostly run by self-help women group that sells back the compost to Thimphu Thromde.
The launch continues to demonstrate Bhutan’s strong commitment to environmental conservation and sustainability ensuring intergeneration equity and aims to create positive change and waste free society.
At the end of the programme, Her Majesty joined the participants and volunteers in a cleaning campaign to pick up trash around Sangaygang area for more than an hour to commence the Zero Waste Hour.
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