WCP mobilizes communities to manage waste disposal
Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP) in Bumthang has successfully launched the Carry in, Carry out strategy to control waste disposal in the alpine areas of the park. Through this approach, every trekker and Cordyceps collectors in the park is required to declare the amount of packaged food that they carry at the entry point, based on which, a security fee is imposed on them.
The trekkers are then checked at the exit point against the amount of the packaged food that they declared while entering the park. Park officials make sure that they bring back their own waste. Upon successful declaration of the waste, their security money is returned.
Otherwise, the security money is withheld by the park and subsequently utilized to hire labor to clean up waste from the areas frequented by the visitors. Further, the waste is segregated and the recyclable waste is sold out to the scrap dealers while the non recyclable waste is sent to the dzongkhag waste disposal facility.
Through this strategy, WCP has been able to remove around 2000 kgs of waste from the park in the last financial year. The pilot project has covered Sephu and Chhokhor gewogs so far.
According to Netra Sharma, the WWF Co-Manager at Wangchuck Centennial Park, the Project aims to further engage local park residents and sensitize them on the 2012 Waste prevention regulations.
This year, the Project is looking forward to conduct a series of such exercises and establish community waste management committees in Kurtoe and Gangzur Gewogs in the Eastern Range of the park. The committee will be responsible for managing waste generated by a total of 217 households in the two Gewogs.
The park will also encourage schools to adopt surrounding areas by installing waste bins and helping them segregate waste. Recyclable waste will be collected and sold to the local scrap dealers with support from the district administration.
The waste management committee will also keep tabs on the amount of waste generated monthly and will act as community enforcement bodies on waste prevention regulations. Through these initiatives, the concept of waste segregation at source will be taught to reduce the amount of waste entering water bodies and those sent to the district landfill.
The project, in the initial phase, will support the disposal of the non recyclable waste by sending it to the district landfill and the local government bodies will eventually be roped in to take ownership in the long run.