Sri Lanka coastal town scores with garbage recycling

May 12, 2008 (LBO) – A town in Sri Lanka’s southern coastal belt has improved its environment and the finances of its local government body through a garbage recycling project, officials said. The cash saved on garbage disposal and money earned through recycling is being used for road improvement by the Weligama urban council.

In 2006, the head of the Weligama urban council, elected in June, decided to turn its garbage dumping ground into a solid waste management project site.

“We decided to start a solid waste management project and sell the organic fertilizer,” says Weligama urban council chief Husain Hajiar Mohammed.

“After paying the salaries and other things still we have about 100,000 rupees as profit per month.”

Garbage disposed by the 68,000 households in the Weligama area is transported to the dumping ground at the edge of the city.

Plastic and glass, which are not bio degradable, are separated from the 8 to 10 tons of garbage collected daily.

The rest is of the waste is used to make compost, a fertilizer made of bio degradable waste.

The process is simple and the outcome is profitable but a shortage of garbage has prompted the council