Solid waste management on firm footing
The Environment and Natural Resources Ministry and the Urban
Development Authority will take over the control of the four of Sri
Lanka's largest waste dumping sites from respective Municipal Councils
and Pradeshiya Sabhas in keeping with a Cabinet decision to manage urban
solid waste on a firm footing, said Environment and Natural Resources
Minister Champika Ranawaka.
He said these steps are being taken to acquire the waste dumping
sites at Bloemendhal in Colombo, Karadiyana in Werahera, Pohorawatta in
Kalutara, and Gohagoda in Kandy in conformity with a Cabinet decision.
Meanwhile, the Daily News learns that the Urban Development Authority
(UDA) has already acquired the famous Kolonnawa garbage dumping site,
which they plan to hand over to the Central Environment Authority to
address the waste management issues of that area.
Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka said, once the UDA acquires
the dumping sites at Bloemendhal, Karadiyana, Pohorawatta and Gohagoda,
they would rehabilitate the sites for sustainable management of waste.
The Environment Ministry will commence the rehabilitation of
Kolonnawa site within the next few months, he said.
Commenting on the problem of solid waste in Colombo, Ranawaka said ,
the waste issue in Colombo is not a problem caused by its tax payers,
but a problem created by those coming into the city for the latter is
responsible for 80 percent of the waste in the city. " They are not tax
payers of the city," he pointed out.
"Despite this being the reality, whenever a solution was proposed to
address the city's waste disposal problems by having a waste dumping
site outside the city, the people outside Colombo have made it a habit
to come out against the idea with the rallying cry of "Kolomba Kunu
Apita Epa " (We don't need Colombo Waste").
Asked why it seems that the solid waste management in the Municipal
Councils appear to be deteriorating, he said that the legal ownership of
waste is one of the issues they have to cope with since the ownership
and the responsibility to dispose of waste lie with the Municipal
Councils and the Pradeshiya Sabhas..
"Two years ago we issued guidelines to the Colombo Municipal Council
with regard to disposing and collecting of waste that all waste have to
be collected before 6 pm. The Ministry can only stipulate guidelines.
Whether to accept them or to act on them is a matter to be decided by
them," he explained.
He said, the Colombo Municipal Council has been repeatedly saying
that they have signed an agreement with a partner to dispose of waste in
Colombo and that we had to wait until it lapses in 2027." .
The biggest issue in dealing with garbage is the lack of landfills,
The politicians have come up to criticize the problem of waste in
But neither any Urban Councils nor any governments have allocated an
inch of land in Colombo for waste management since the British colonists
had allocated a land in Kirulapone for the purpose.
There have been so many mayors for the city of Colombo, but there has
not been an inch of land allocated for disposing of waste in the city,