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Garbage posing a big challenge

2013 Jul 27

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Solving the garbage problem remained a big challenge and as far as the local government authorities were concerned, Local Government and Provincial Councils Ministry Secretary R. A. A. K. Ranawake said, noting a that lackadaisical attitude would only make the situation worse. "If the local communities do not find a solution for the country’s garbage issue, we will run out of land to dump the waste and will soon be walking on streets full of garbage."

Ranawaka was addressing the media on Thursday (25) in Colombo. He said that Sri Lanka produced around 6,500 MT of garbage daily and as the population grew, the volume of garbage naturally increased and there had to be an institution to solve the problem once and for all, he said. "Fifty per cent of the garbage we produce everyday is biodegradable. Local governments should have a composting facility to reduce garbage," the Secretary added. "The main problem is there are no lands to dump the garbage and therefore the local government institutions countrywide have to come up with new plans to recycle more than 90 per cent of this garbage."

Ranawaksa said one way to tackle the problem was to encourage all local government bodies to set up compost manufacturing facilities to convert garbage into organic fertiliser.

Currently, only ten per cent of this garbage was recycled, the Secretary said, adding that the rest was haphazardly disposed. He stressed that a proper solid waste management and recycling systems were very expensive and the local governments couldn’t afford them without assistance from the government.

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