Aruwakkalu awaits Government Analyst’s verdict to resume ops


But expert says landfill solution unsustainable


By Ifham Nizam

Operations at the Aruwakkalu Sanitary Landfill site could resume anytime, says Megapolis Ministry Secretary Eng. Nihal Rupasinghe. However, the ministry is awaiting the recommendations of the Government Analyst.

The senior engineer, attached to the project, told The Island that it would take another couple of days as investigations were on. As a temporary measure the garbage was being dumped at Kerawalapitiya for the time being, he said.

He assured that the methane issue at Aruwakkalu could be minimised due to the sophisticated machinery used in the site after Monday night’s massive blast in a tank.

Rupasinghe said a team of specialists including officials from the Government Analyst’s Department was carrying out an investigation into the explosion.

Senior environmentalist Rahula Gunasekera of the Arizona University told The Island that as Sri Lanka had a limited land area the landfill as a 100% solution was unsustainable. "It will endanger groundwater and eat up valuable land. Singapore uses incineration due to limited land area. Even after incineration the ash will have to go to a landfill, but a much smaller one and should be within Colombo city limits, each city has to be responsible for its own waste." He believes that they have to use appropriate techniques for the different types of garbage.

Gunasekera said that the Chinese company handling the project had no experience in landfill projects and it should not have been given the contract.

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