Though the economy of Bhutan, the Himalayan nation known the world over for its Gross National Happiness index, is growing, it has also become waste intensive, a new report says. According to the Environmental Accounts Statistics 2018, a National Statistics Bureau (NSB) publication, while the country’s nominal GDP grew by almost 12 per cent between 2014 and 2017, it has also resulted in a 50 per cent increase in the volume of waste generated.
“The quantity of waste generation increased by almost more than 50 per cent, while the nominal GDP grew by almost 12 per cent between 2014-17,” the report stated.
“If we consider the trend as representative of the country, then this indicates that the economy is becoming more waste intensive.”
According to the report, construction wastes are increasing with the growth in the construction sector.
“The proper management of the construction wastes poses to be an issue,” it stated.
According to the report, as the country develops, the consumption and the imports in particular are placing substantial pressure on the management of waste.
It said that the waste account therefore compiled would enable better informed decisions and policy making pertaining to solid waste management in the country.
“The experimental waste account includes the proportion of waste collected and sent to landfills from four major Thromdes (second-level administrative divisions) and other urban areas,” the report stated.
It also clarified that data for rural areas are not part of the report due to data constraint.
Further, the report does not include waste through illegal dumping and litter which is still significant and damages the environment.
“An overall increasing trend in waste generation is observed over the years by the four thromdes and other urban areas,” it stated.
“The substantial increase in the waste generated every year could also mean growth in urban households and unsustainable consumption. This demands improved management through technologies and other facilities to collect waste.”
Stating that waste is becoming an emerging issue and concern for all, the report said that waste generation has increased by more than 50 per cent in the past four years.