"CLEAN BHUTAN" - A Solid Waste Management Project by RSPN to develop waste management alternatives both on rural and urban areas and come up with measures to mitigate climate change and land degradation in the country.
"CLEAN BHUTAN" - A Solid Waste Management Project by RSPN to develop waste management alternatives both on rural and urban areas and come up with measures to mitigate climate change and land degradation in the country.
In Bhutan, indiscriminate open dumping of solid waste is creating unsightly surroundings, choked drains and eventually polluted waterways that not only contaminate the natural environment, but also pose serious hazards to public health. Lack of proper waste management also jeopardizes Bhutan's reputation as a clean and green country which could affect tourism, one of the key target sectors for economic growth.

The project is a part of the overall efforts of the Clean Bhutan Steering Committee to address the issue of solid waste management in Bhutan. The activities proposed under this project component have the objectives to develop a system of solid waste management for both rural and urban areas and to increase the level of awareness among various sectors of the society on waste issues and management. Specifically, the project complements the support provided by other donors enhancing awareness and education while expanding the concept of waste segregation through schools. The project also proposes to lend support to the districts in taking up solid waste management systems appropriate for rural areas at the Gewog and village level.

For advocacy and awareness, a Mobile Advocacy Team will be formed and trained to go around and advocate amongst the rural communities.

The primary goal of this project is to improve state of environment in both rural and urban area through establishing a system of solid waste management and raising awareness of the people. The specific objectives are:

1. To enhance capacity and coordination among various stakeholders;
2. To develop waste management alternatives through research;
3. To increase level of awareness among various sectors of the society on waste issues and management;
4. To develop a system of solid waste management for both rural and urban areas;
5. To advocate for policy changes and mainstreaming.

To increase level of awareness among various sectors of the society on waste issues and management by:
1. Develop education and awareness materials;
2. Establish mobile advocacy team;
3. Conduct advocacy and awareness education through various media;
4. MAT for village level awareness and clean up campaigns;
5. Demonstrate waste segregation through involvement of schools.

To develop a system of solid waste management for both rural and urban areas by;
1. Develop solid waste management system for rural and urban areas;
2. Coordinate with Dzongkhag, Geog, and municipality authorities to implement the management system for rural areas;
3. Provide/subsidize basic facilities/equipment required for solid waste management.

1. Formation of the Steering Committee:
Clean Bhutan initiative was initially conceived in RSPN after implemnting UNDP supported project on Public Private Partnership for Urab Environment in year 2006. Using the recommendation outlined in the policy framework, RSPN has conducted consultation meeting with all the relevant agencies at stake. During the meeting members have suggested having a Steering Committee Members to steer the project activities as this is a national level project. Therefore, a Steering Committee comprising of all relevant stakeholders from Public and Private sectors was formed - DoT, NEC, ABTO, PPD, BCCI, Chenzig Films, MoE, TCC, Legal Division, and RSPN.

2. Education Materials Development:
Public education, awareness and advocacy programs has been and remained a priority for Bhutan especially in the case of solid waste management. Different agencies carry out waste management activities at different point of time with different message and many a times it gets duplicated. Therefore, in order to have uniformity in the activities and to increase impact made in the community, Clean Bhutan initiatives is focussing on bringing up one uniform slogan and a mascot, which will be featured in all the waste management programs including video documentary. Therefore, following materials are developed:
a. Mascot for Clean Bhutan - It is a human body with Takin head. Takin because it is a national animal which also represent environment and human body because human are the ones who is dependent on environment and yet destroying it.

b. Stickers: stickers of two different sizes are designed using mascot and the slogan of the project for free distribution;
i) Car Stickers - mainly designed for distribution to the car oweners which can be pasted from the inside on the wind shielf. This is basically to promote the program and initiate through out the country and send message on Clean Bhutan;
ii) Normal stickers - this can be pasted on the dustbins, noticeboards etc. and also for free distribution to the schools and towns and it can be pasted there to make aware of the program.

3. Caps - Cap with the mascot and slogan printed on it is being designed and almost ready for distribution. The cap will be used during the campaign so that this can help spread the message and inspire individuals in taking part in waste management activities.

4. Collection Sacks - Normally during the Cleaning campaign agencies hardly privides collection bags which is very necessary for successful cleaning activities and usually participants bring their own bags which is not enough. Therefore, Clean Bhutan has purchased sacks with clean Bhutan title and slogan printed on it, which will make the campaign effective and also help pass message on waste management.

5. Theme sone for Clean Bhutan - Since Clean Bhutan will mostly focus on education and awreness program on waste, in the process lots of educational programs especially for documentary and Radio program on waste management will be produced and aired in the due course of time. For that matter, under Clean Bhutan initiatives "Clean Bhutan theme song is composed and it will be used in all the video and radio programs relating to clean Bhutan and also for any related announcement.

Activity 3: National Highway Cleaning Campaign by Sherubtse Students:
National Highway has always been used as a dumping area in many places by the local residents as well as the travellers. Therefore, the main purpose of this campaign is to help keep our national highway clean and make communities in route and the travellers aware of the growing issue of unmanaged solid wastes.

58 students and two lecturers of Social Service Unit (SSU) and Singye Karm Nature Club of Sherubtse College volunteers carried out the cleaning campaing along 551 kilometer Thimphu Trashigang National Highway during their summer vacation. During the cleaning campaign, District Administration, residents and communities in route have also actively participated in the campaign and made their contribution in cleaning the east-west national highway and towns in route.

During the campaign, the participants physically collected garbage and cleaned ten meters above and below the road and all vehicle travelling were stopped and made aware of the garbage issues. At night, communities were gathered to attend various awareness programs on waste management and other waste related issues. Besides personal interaction and communication, the teams were carrying banners with the messages implying the importance of waste management and personal responsibility.

Since the distance to be covered was very long, the participants were divided into two groups. One started from Trashigang (EAST) and the other from Bumthang (CENTRAL). Those who started from Trashigang had a distance of 267 Kilometers which cover the districts of Trashigang, Mongar and Bumthang. The other group had 268 kilometers which covers the district of Bumthang, Trongsa and Wangduephodrang. The campaign team departed from College on the 1st of July to their respective starting points and joint together after reaching Dochula (a pass between Wangdiphodrang and Thimphu) and cleaned the whole way down till the clock tower in the heart of Thimphu city. At the Clock Tower the groups were received by RSPN and the volunteers and the group that performed awareness campaign presented their report.

The trash collected by the participants were packed in sacks and piled up at the road side, later garbage piles were collected y two trucks hired to pickup the garbage and transferred to the nearest dumpsite of respective dzongkhag (district). During the eight day cleaning campaign, the participants could collect about 2000 sacks of garbage on the way on an average every day the team has at least collected 250 sacks of garbage.

On their way, the participants could communicate with over 1500 people during the campaign. They had communicated with the communities, and the travellers in different mode of communication like banners, face to face meetings, through songs, dance and skit etc.

Activity 5: Cleaning Campaign in Thimphu - a one day cleaning campaing was organized by Clean Bhutan Steering Committee in collaboration iwth Thimphu City Corporation to raise awareness amongst the residents in Thimphu by physically engaging the communities and residents of Thimphu in cleaning their surroundings. With the support from the media companies like BBS, Radio Valley and Kuzoo FM, the committee could mobilize approximately 500 volunteers to actively participate in cleaning campaigns in all the six zones of the capital city. The volunteers managed to gather not less than 13 tons of solid waste from six zones of the City.

The Campaign was formally concluded with rock concert performed by the participants. Dasho Nado Rinchen, Deputy Minister for National Environment Commission was present to witness the closing ceremony in the evening at the Clock Tower Square. The programme comprised of various educational programs like skit, songs and games on general waste management and waste segregation were presented to the spectators gathered during the program.

Video Documentary of the volunteers' efforts during the campaign was also screened to encourage more participants in the next such endeavor.

Please see Project Results.
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Project Snapshot

Royal Society for Protection of Nature
Area Of Work:
Multifocal Area
Grant Amount:
US$ 48,313.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 42,263.27
Co-Financing in-Kind:
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
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SGP Country office contact

Mr. Tenzin Wangchuk
Mr. Tshering Phuntsho
009752322424 (ext:330)


UN House, Peling Lam (Street), Kawajangsa, Thimphu, P.O. Box No. 162
Thimphu, Bhutan, 11001