Sri Lanka mulls rail hauling city waste to limestone pits

Jan 29, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is mulling a plan to haul solid waste from Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo to open pit limestone mines in the northwest of the island by rail as part of a plan to modernize the fast expanding metropolis, a top official said. Disposing of solid waste in Colombo has become a problem city authorities running out of landfill sites.

One of the plans being consider is to take rubbish to Puttalam, more than 130 kilometres north of Colombo where large pits from which limestone had been mined for cement manufacture could be filled.

“We estimate that three freight trains a day could take the entire city waste,” Rohan Seneviratne, additional secretary of the ministry of defence and urban development said.

“The trains could run in the night.”

Seneviratne said a study is being conducted to come up with a comprehensive plan to dispose of city waste and rail haulage plan was one of the available options.

Waste will be taken in special covered wagons. Already there was a rail track leading to the limestone mines.

It was estimated that about 150 acres of land would be needed for use as a landfill but there no space nearby.

Solid waste disposal in Colombo, Kotte, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia and Kolonnawa is pa