Industries identify new non-hazardous waste disposal site in Pasakha

Much to the relief of Bhutanese industrialists in Pasakha, they have now identified a location close to the industries to dump the non-hazardous waste generated from their plants. The industries plan to develop this site into a recreational park once the site is filled up. Industrialists say the location has been identified after seeking approval from the National Environment Commission to dump the industrial waste more responsibly and an in environment friendly manner.

The location was also identified given the increasing need for a proper waste disposal site. All the waste, both hazardous and non-hazardous, were dumped together at the current disposal site constructed by the government.

The Vice President of the Association of Bhutanese Industries (ABI), Chimi Dorji Norbu, said all the industries located in the core industrial estate will now use the site to dump non-hazardous waste after segregating it from the plant.

Most of the industries until now had been piling their waste at the corner of their respective plants, which has also impacted the working environment of the industries. With the new site, industries can also reuse waste for the needed industries without much hassle unlike in the past where they had to put up letters to concerned industries to pick up waste from the plants.

“All the hazardous waste like toxic materials from the industries are being dumped at one place which is not good. So we, out of our own initiative, have identified the location. It’s our responsibility to be more environment friendly,” said Chimi Dorji Norbu. ABI has also sensitized all the industries about the dumpsite and explained on the types of waste to be dumped to avoid inconveniences in the future.

Industries produce non-hazardous wastes, such as micro silica, quartzite chips and other paper waste which do not have to be necessarily dumped at the hazardous waste disposal site.

“Now, only hazardous waste will be dumped at the old disposal site,” Chimi Dorji Norbu said, adding, “Waste has to be tested if it is non-hazardous before dumping. The concerned industry should assure that the wastes are free of toxic materials and chemicals which could be harmful.”

“The industries have been struggling to get approval from the concerned agencies in obtaining approval to dump our waste. So now, after identifying the site we will not have to undergo such hassles. The industries can now load their waste and dump it directly,” he added.

The waste disposal site, meanwhile, is spread over three acres adjacent to bank of Barsa River and could take a minimum of 10 years to fill up. The identification of this disposal site, according to the Vice President, would help the community as well. It would not pollute the environment and the river as it is located next to the river protection wall.

However, he said the industries generate minimum wastes as most of the industrial wastes are reused; the slag is being used as raw material for steel industries and the dust is also collected as micro silica to be used in houses.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing