Burying garbage in landfills not suitable for Sri Lanka

By Ifham Nizam

Burying garbage in landfills is not suitable for a country like Sri Lanka which is rich in clay soil. Landfills will also affect water bodies in the vicinity, warns an eminent Environmental Scientist.

One of the key advisors to the ‘Pilisaru’ Project, Dr. Ajantha Perera says the Rs. 600 million-garbage disposal project in Maligawatte in Dompe, will only cause further problems to the on-going garbage issues in the country. She says despite recommendations, authorities are still depending on methods that are not suitable.

She told ‘The Island’ on Wednesday that despite numerous efforts Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa has avoided her, knowing well that she was against an alien project which comes under a soft loan from the Korean Government.

She says she strongly believes that recycling and composting are the only solutions to the garbage problem.

When Sri Lanka is gearing to become the ‘wonder of Asia’, there should be positive examples instead of negatives.

She says by going for recycling, the country will get a donation but none will get a commission.

By recycling garbage, Sri Lanka could strengthen the agriculture industry and also create a number of job opportunities and have a healthy society by consuming vegetables and fruits from compost fertilizer instead of chemicals.

Dompe Protection Society Chairman, W A Ariyaratne says they will write to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the negative outcome of the project.

"Most of us depend on water through springs. Our area is renowned for natural beauty, but by having such projects everything will be destroyed and a sick society will remain," he added.

The Environment Ministry has earmarked 15 acres in the centre of a 77-acre commercial timber forest, for a final-disposal facility for all types of garbage.

It will include compost plant for biodegradable waste, a recycling area for certain types of plastic, polythene, iron, glass and an engineered landfill for non-biodegradable waste.

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