Unilever’s Project ArunellaWorks with Communitieson Sustainable Waste Management
(PRESS RELEASE) – Initiative Eliminates Garbage Dumps in Agarapathana Region Together With Authorities and Local Community
The Arunella Waste Management project spearheaded by Unilever Sri Lanka’s CeyteaFactory in Agarapathanarecently achieved the complete elimination of waste being dumped in and around the KothmalaOya in the surrounding towns of Dayagama, Agarapathana, Gleinline, Holbrook and Nagasena.
A joint initiative of Unilever,the NuwaraeliyaPradeshiyaSabha,the Agarapathanaand DayagamaPolice and members of the local community,this marks a watershed moment for community based waste management projects in the country.
“The KothmalaOya has always been one of our key sources of water with over 1,500 families living in the area depending on it. The dumping of waste in and around the river had polluted it,making the water unfit for consumption. The Arunella Waste Management project was launched in August 2016 with the aim of turning this situation around. With zero waste now being dumped into the KothmalaOya, over 20,000 people from our communitycan begin using the river water once again,” said Vidura Sampath, Assistant Commissioner of Local Government.
The Ceyteafactory team kick started the project with a series of awareness sessions covering all towns in the area with the support of the NuwaraeliyaPradeshiyaSabha and the Agarapathana Police. Dedicated garbage bins for segregating biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste were distributed to the community. The NuwaraeliyaPradeshiyaSabha processes biodegradable waste at the Pathana Composting plant with non-biodegradable waste being recycled. Coming in as the law enforcement partner, the Police ensure that the communities abide by their commitment to the project.
Environmental committees comprising of members of the local community were constituted to make the initiative self-sustainable. These teams of volunteers monitor the situation on ground and ensure proper segregation, collection and disposal of waste. Working closely with the NuwaraeliyaPradeshiyaSabha, the Agarapathana Police and the Unilever CeyteaFactory, they meet once a month to discuss the progress of the project.
“At Unilever we seek to grow our business whilst decoupling our environmental footprint from our growth and increasing our positive social impact. In line with this, we are delighted to work with the NuwaraeliyaPradeshiyaSabha, the Agarapathana Police and members of the local community on the ongoing Arunella Waste Management initiative,” said Carl Cruz, Chairman, Unilever Sri Lanka. “Launched with the aim of supplementing waste management efforts of local civic bodies, we have, together, been able to bring about positive and sustainable change to the towns in the area. The dedication of the people on the ground inspires us and reinforces our commitment to our core purpose of making sustainable living commonplace.”
Charged by the remarkable outcomes they have achieved within a short period, members of the community are exploring more ways in which they can collaborate with government bodies and businesses to bring positive change to the area.
About Unilever: Unilever Sri Lanka is one of the largest FMCG companies in Sri Lanka, with30 market leading brands in categories such as Home Care, Personal Care and Foods. Established in Sri Lanka in 1938 with brands such as Sunlight, Lux and Pears. Unilever’scorporate purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace, and the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to decouple the company’s growth from environmental impact, while increasing its positive social impact. The Plan has three big goals that by 2020 will help improve people’s health and well-being, reduce the company’s environmental footprint, and enhance livelihoods across its value chain. For more information about Unilever, please visit www.unilever.com.lk.
Image Caption:Garbage bins being distributed to the community for segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste