The Proposed Kandy Garbage Project: What is the Hitch?


Regrettably, because of an inordinate and inexcusable delay on the part of the Kandy Municipal Council (KMC), the much hyped Kandy garbage recycling project to be set up at Gohagoda has now been stalled for over two years. Is as usual in this country, ‘oiling the palm’ needed to catalyse things? It appears to be so as what had been approved by the KMC administration in May 2017 has apparently been thwarted by the new political dispensation!

The project is to be implemented with German aid amounting to USD 83 million utilizing ‘Combitech’ technology which involves processing of unsorted garbage into compost and energy. The project outputs are supposedly, compost, 10 MW of energy; and the waste energy is to be used to run three cold storage plants for fruits and vegetables.

Gohagoda Garbage heap

At present the daily garbage volume is about 125 tons, the management of which is a major task for the Council. The Project when established will process 50,000 metric tons of garbage per day over a period of five years including the fresh and heaped material. The great advantage of this technology is that unsorted garbage is to be used. This will mean a substantial saving of labour and transportation costs to the KMC in that usually conventional processing of garbage entails heavy costs for sorting out.

The delay in project implementation is essentially due to the KMC not releasing the required land despite the necessary approval being granted by the Attorney General. The letter of contract award to the local contractor, Recycle Energy, too had been made several months ago by the Presidential Secretariat following cabinet approval of the project proposal in February 2017. This delay has apparently also caused disappointment on the part of the German agency.

The President, himself, had taken personal interest in the project, as apart from other benefits, because of the targeted massive output of organic fertilizer. The District Secretary, Kandy should, as a matter of priority, jolt the KMC into action. Ideally an enquiry must also be conducted as to why the KMC is sitting on the land release when everything else is in place.

Concerned Kandyan

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