‘Colombo needs at least three landfills to overcome garbage problem’

The Colombo District needs at least three landfills each with a capacity of 2,000 tons per day to manage the garbage problem, Western Development and Megapolis Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

The minister, observing that sanitary landfills are the best cost-effective and scientific solution to the garbage issue, said Gampaha needs at least two landfills each with a capacity of 1,500 tons per day and Kalutara needs at least one with a capacity of 1,000 tons per day.

“Likewise, all main cities such as Galle, Matara, Kandy, Kurunegala etc need scientifically designed sanitarylandfills” he added. The minister also suggested introducing the ‘polluter pays principle’ with regard to the garbage being collected.

“Any scientific disposal method like incineration or waste to energy project needs Rs 7-10 per kilogram for treatment.

People must be prepared to pay. Generally it is said that one individual generates about one kilogram of garbage daily. If we charge Rs 10 per kilogram, it would be Rs 40 for a family of four,” the Minister said.

The minister also said all scientists who studied and inspected the Meethotamulla dump site warned of a possible collapse.

“The CMC was dumping garbage at this yard since 2009. The dumping yard which was two acres has now stretched to 21 acres. The highest point of the garbage mound is 48.5 metres. All scientists who studied and inspected the dump site warned of a possible collapse after it exceeded the height of 30 metres. The UDA repeatedly wrote to the CMC asking to stop dumping garbage at that site, but the CMC was unable to find alternative land in the face of stiff opposition of the people,” he added. 


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