Green Path faces the brunt of Covid-19 pandemic

In other nearby districts too, some scrap dealers are facing a similar problem

Since the inception of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, scrap dealers in the country have been struggling to dispose of the waste effectively. This predicament is no different for Sangphey, the owner of Green Path and the lone scrap dealer in Trashigang.

With its warehouse already getting piled up, the lone scrap dealer in Trashigang still continues to collect waste in order to keep the environment clean, whereas in other places a few dealers have stopped buying additional scraps. 

The lone scrap collection area in Lungtenzampa in Trashigang known as Green Path is getting filled and selling the scraps at the moment has been hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Forty-eight-year-old Sangphey, who is the lone scrap dealer and the owner of the Green Path, said the business has been affected by the pandemic along with the repeated lockdowns in the country.

He said the scraps are sold in Samdrup Jongkhar but with the lockdown the scraps are getting filled here in the area.

Despite the area getting filled, he said he continues to collect waste as it can somehow help the environment to remain clean.

Sangphey said it has been four years since he started the business to keep the environment free of waste after taking a loan of about Nu 4.5mn.

“However, the business did not go well due to the pandemic,” he said. “Before the lockdown the scraps were sold more than twice in Samdrup Jongkhar, but now the scraps are hardly sold once in a month.”

“We are able to sell only once in January and then vehicles couldn’t move to Samdrup Jongkhar,” he added.

Sangphey is worried that he may run out of space to store the scraps if he is not able to sell those that are available in his area. 

Currently, Green Path has engaged four staff (three men and one woman) on a monthly salary basis and it pays Nu 5,000 a month as land rent.

Sangphey collects whatever scraps are available, such as tin, empty plastic and beer bottles, and even cartoon waste. A kilogram of plastic bottle is worth Nu 11, cartoon is worth Nu 5, and for beer bottle it is worth Nu 1.50, and a kilogram of canned-beer containers is worth Nu 30.

He added that he collected waste of four boleros recently from the dumping yard to help reduce the waste.

He encourages residents to bring the waste at Green Path instead of throwing it in the dumping yard, which he said would infect the areas and the animals.

Meanwhile, in other nearby dzongkhags too, some scrap dealers are running short of space to stock waste and they are opting to stop buying from the customers for the time being. 

Sonam Tashi from Trashigang