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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Colombo Waste Management

Due to the numerous articles on this issue I have decided to start this thread. If the garbage problem isn't fixed, it isn't going to bode well for tourism and foreign investment, let alone our own health and well being. The upside of this thread is that hopefully eventually we can post articles in this thread about projects and facilities for waste disposal and methods being used to end the garbage problem. With 2011 being regarded as the year to visit Sri Lanka, it's wise to bring this issue to the forefront now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
http://www.dailymirror.lk/DM_BLOG/Sections/frmNewsDetailView.aspx?ARTID=54514


Tiny Improvements in Thousand Places



Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with golden beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, pictorial mountains and scenic greenery all around. As the famous writer Bernard Shaw rightly stated “heaven is just one mile away from Sri Lanka”. But drastic ill-planned industrialisation and urbanisation have resulted in environmental pollution, devastating the natural beauty of the country. Heaps of waste generated from industrial and commercial operations are disposed unmanaged, creating an environmental liability. Disposing of waste in an environmental friendly manner has become one of the burning issues and is one of the major challenges before us. The waste that is piled, if not attended for just one day, creates major environmental disorder, which was not common a decade ago.

In order to discuss and to get his expert view on this burning issue of waste disposal, we met Prof. Ajith de Alwis of Chemical & Process Engineering Dept. of the University of Moratuwa. He is also one of the science team leaders with Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (Pvt) Ltd. (SLINTEC), which is totally focused on sustainable solutions to industries based on nanotechnology.

“We Sri Lankans think and talk very high but barely take any action. Our aim is to be the best in every endeavour. It is very good indeed, but are we doing the right thing or rather what are we doing to reach that position?” Prof. Alwis commenced the discussion with the question. “At least to be the best within the region, we have to work hard. We have to contemplate on developing our country with an attitudinal change. The main thing is to change the attitude and the mind set of our people. Other than doing nice documentations, organising introductory seminars, keep on carrying out analyses, we have not done anything creative or rather we have not improved anything – any product – any process. There are few exceptions of course! These nice documentations, seminars, vision-mission statements won’t place us globally in a good position, unless we work hard. Only best practices will place us globally. The best and most appropriate example would be the number of reports and analyses we have done for the Bloomendhal dump site and on solid waste management solutions in the Colombo metropolitan area. If we piled all the reports, presentations and analyses together, those will be little less than the waste heap in height.”

“Take the Japanese, see how they have come up after the arduous times after World War II. They never depended on documentations or the government, but did their own part and duty. In most of cases, they did tiny improvements to the products or to the processes, which resulted magnificent results. Tiny improvements in thousand places contributed significantly to the development of Japan. The average Japanese citizens are neither technicians nor scientists. But they did concentrate on what they were doing and did it accurately with tiny improvements to the process and products as mentioned above. And at all times they were conscious of their duties. Also they ensured that the waste generated from the production process were disposed of systematically. Each Japanese house contains at least 2 waste bins. In some places even up to 30-40 waste bins are placed for different types of waste to be disposed of appropriately. As generators they themselves took the responsibility of segregation of waste at the point of generation. They did not point fingers at others or depend on the government. There is no question on the government’s responsibility of getting involved in a proper waste management system. But as generators, we all have to be responsible of segregating waste at the point of generation. Not only in Japan, most of western countries like the US, UK, Germany, and France are also applying the same theory and segregating waste at the point of generation. Disposing of waste in a segregated manner has become one of their habitual actions. Sri Lankans living in Japan or any other western county practise waste segregation there. Why can’t we do the same in our own country? From toffee wrappers to mass scale industrial waste, all these are disposed of in unethical ways and means.”

Continuing his views, Prof. Alwis added that we should come up with the question of whether a once used item could be re-used, or rather, whether we have made the maximum usage of that particular item. If the answer is in the negative then we have to be cautious, as we could re-use that particular product for the same or some other purpose on several occasions. With the inquiry of re-using used products, we are encoraging the waste management hierarchy. The waste management hierarchy, in its simplest form means to reduce, reuse and recycle.

“Take a drinking water bottle, as an example. Do we have to throw the empty bottle after consuming the water in it? What could we do with this empty bottle? Is this really waste or can we reuse it? This is a very important question that we have to ask ourselves. The answer to this question will enhance our contribution to waste reduction, which is the first and foremost step in the waste management hierarchy. If we can reuse it, then without any second thought, we have to reuse it, without being in a hurry to throw it to a waste bin. However, one must check the suitability for reusing it for the same purpose.”

”Suppose the answer is in the negative - that we can’t reuse the empty bottle - what will be the next step?” asked the Professor. “Once again, we should not be in a rush to throw away the empty bottle as the resources used to produce this plastic bottle – namely, material and energy - is still remaining with it. Is there any method to recover the material part of this empty plastic bottle? The answer is recycling. This is not news to us, as it is getting familiar with local society nowadays. The main benefits would be the conservation of natural resources and the saving of energy. It also avoids future environmental liabilities by not dumping foreign items to the environment. ”

Of course we can pass recyclable items on to recycling entity. But what if we have items which are not recyclable or the cost factor is comparatively high to recycle? Aren’t there any solutions for disposing of these items?

“Yes, there are.” Prof. Alwis elaborated. “The ideal example would be torn tyres. It is not advisable to use a tyre are after its life cycle, as personal safety will be at a risk. Safety should never be compromised. Recycling of used tyres is not cost effective. The answer is within the co-processing process. The technology of co-processing has been experimented, examined and experienced by western countries over three decades, and has had positive results. Co-processing is destroying waste parallel to a primary production process. In simplified language, recover materials and energy from waste for a primary production process. As stated earlier, most of the western countries like the US, Germany, France and Belgium have experienced positive results from co-processing. This is one of the best sustainable approaches to dispose waste, which is one of the schemes where Sri Lankans and especially Sri Lankan industry need to be more aware of. But there are specific requirements to be fulfilled for this. High temperature, a long residence time in high temperature, excellent turbulence and sufficient oxygen are a few of these requirements.”

“At a glance, one can see that co-processing is similar to incineration of waste, as waste is destroyed at high temperatures. But there are significant differences between co-processing and incineration” clarified the Professor. “Co-processing recovers energy and material embedded in waste, while destroyimg waste at a high temperature. That energy and material is being used for primary production. This replaces virgin energy format. But in incineration, the incinerator will be powered by coal or similar fuel. Hence, there is no energy recovery from incineration process. But more CO2 is being released to the environment. As a comparison, incineration releases approximately double the amount of CO2 released from co-processing. This is self explanatory – the burning of coal releases some amount of CO2 and burning of waste also releases some amount of CO2. Hence incineration affects the environment negatively by increasing green house gas emissions, global warming and all the other interrelated environmental issues. On the other hand co-processing conserves natural fossil fuels as well as some materials.”

Distinguishing co-processing and incineration based on operational techniques, Prof. Alwis pointed out that incineration done at comparable temperatures requires a shorter residence time Usually, the required minimum with some safety factors built in, may result in harmful gas emissions, compared to co-processing. Co-processing is done at a very high temperature with long residence times.

“With extensive and comprehensive experiments carried out in some of the western countries, it was found out that cement kilns provide the most suitable atmosphere for co-processing. Obviously the temperature within the cement kilns is very high – more than 2000C at the flame and 1450C as an average throughout the kiln. Residence time is comparatively (4-6 seconds) long. All the parameters are well controlled within cement kilns. A sufficient oxygen and alkaline environment within the kilns make them more fitting for co-processing, as plenty of oxygen ensures 100% thermal destruction of waste and the alkaline environment mitigates acidic gas emission from destroyed wastes.”

According to the Professor, no additional energy will be used to destroy waste. Hence co-processing is a sustainable waste disposal method. The Central Environmental Authority is to be convinced with sustainable waste disposal methods by the respective industries, prior to getting Environmental Protection Licenses for businesses and these opportunities should be made use of.”

Some of these important points expressed by the Professor may lead

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Tiny Improvements...

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us to re-consider our behavioral patterns and our contribution to reduce wastes generation. “We always have to have 03R in the mind – Reduce – Reuse – Recycle. As mentioned above minimal generation of waste is given the utmost position in the waste management hierarchy. It saves money, time and all other resources. We contribute to failure, if we loose sensitivity and becoming waste generators by ourselves.”

Your browser may not support display of this image.

Your browser may not support display of this image. Putting his view in plain words, Professor continued saying that no one knew everything from the inception but we have to tune up our society gradually for better waste management practices. Further he stressed the importance of knowing product life cycle for resource cascade, which ancient Sri Lankans were well aware of. They cultured & equipped with lot of wisdom given by Buddhism, led a very simple life and followed Lord Buddha’s teachings of 07 steps of cascading in waste disposal.

“By recycling and co-processing we save money and energy and simultaneously conserve virgin energy formats and resources. If we contribute to save energy of one oil barrel, we save money worthier than price of one barrel of oil sent out of country, as transportation, shipping and other cost factors have been added up when importing the oil barrel to Sri Lanka. ”

“Any waste disposal process according to waste management hierarchy could be implemented if wastes are segregated only. As responsible citizens of Sri Lanka, we have to understand that both economical and ecological developments equally essential for country’s development and must keep at least 02 waste bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes respectively. By waste segregation, we assist to dispose them in an environmental sound manner and we save valuable foreign exchange.”

What is government’s role in the scenario? Commenting on government’s involvement on taking the lead to develop a proper waste management system within the country, he pointed out that “the government has to identify waste generator’s responsibility, importance of waste segregation at the point of generation and recognition of all available options for sustainable waste disposal methods. By introducing national policy and enacting appropriate legislations and statues government must construct the legal framework for it. State must introduce modern technology and appropriate mechanism to the process of waste collection & disposal. Encouragement from the government for private – public partnerships will enhance the results of sustainable solutions in this context.”

Concluding the session Prof. Alwis remind us – being the pressure groups, must push the government & other local authorities, to initiate proper waste management systems. “If we not take any actions immediately to stop this unplanned waste disposal, the highest, and second and third highest mountains in Sri Lanka will be dump yards. If we mishandle environmental related issues, the environment will returns the reaction on its own way charging us severely. This is the law of nature. It is also community must pressure the industries to be better corporate citizens”

“There are several options unveiled before us for proper waste management and any one of them is better than what we do today. Being the highest literacy among the developing countries, we must actively contribute for tiny improvements in every endeavor. Tiny improvements in thousand places, ten thousand places and hundred thousand places will play a major role in our journey to sustainable development.”

---- Prepared by Sankethani Lahandapura based on the interview had with

Prof. Ajith de Alwis, of University of Moratuwa ---
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
http://www.dailynews.lk/2009/07/17/news45.asp

Garbage, garbage everywhere

Shirley WIJESINGHE

Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures coupled with difficulties in finding suitable land for dumping could delay the solution to the garbage problem at least for another two years, the Colombo Municipal Council Solid Waste Management Unit Director P. Thangamile told the Daily News.

He said that temporary dumping grounds in the Colombo City had not been used for the last two weeks due to bad weather. "All access to these sites have been flooded and main culverts broken. The garbage trucks were unloaded due to blockage of accesses.

He said however complaints of villagers have gradually lessened due to the awareness programs with the assistance of the police, Thangamile said.

Answering questions about such delays in the clearance of garbage, he said the CMC is not in a position to give a sustainable solution for speedy garbage collection and disposal process unless tender issues are sorted out in keeping with strict Supreme Court guidelines. The prospective tenderer should be able to establish gas or power generation plants by recycling garbage. The main problem is finding out a land for garbage disposal.

The garbage problem in the city and suburban areas have assumed serious proportions in recent times due to the high incidence of dengue which has alarmed health authorities and the general public.

As such local bodies cannot turn a blind eye to this problem or pass the buck without coming up with a sustainable solution through a systemic clearance of garbage in their localities.

According to statistics provided by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) more than 80 cases have been filed in Courts and over 2,000 warnings issued to residences and Government institutions in Colombo. A number of construction sites including a site in Havelock Town had been given warning notices as several dengue cases have been reported from around the area. There were growing fears that the present garbage dumps in the city would create mosquito breeding environments leading to increased risk of dengue and other diseases. People entering the city of Colombo for various matters complain about the haphazard garbage collection, with disposal of garbage not being attended to. When people pass random garbage dumps they simply cannot bear the smell and appear angry and curse the authorities responsible.

To find out the full extent of the problem the Daily News visited areas where the garbage problem is more acute and spoke to some of the residents and also employees at state institutions guilty of neglect.

Our first visit was to the Colombo National Hospital where infected waste coming from patients accumulates.

Commenting on the rotting garbage uncollected for more than two weeks, Hospital Sanitary Worker, Nihal Perera told the Daily News that the CMC garbage collecting trucks do not perform their duties properly. They just come and go. One of our largest garbage bins is spilling over. More bins are needed to cope with the accumulating waste and garbage.

Vermin were seen on floor of the garbage cubicle of the hospital since the last garbage collection was done only two weeks ago. It has been noticed that the cubicle for temporary garbage within the hospital is not protected. Roaming cats and crows easily enter the cubicle through the gap between the floor and mesh. This is a severe hygienic problem for the hospital patients as well as the residents in the vicinity.

Garbage collection in the Western part of the city appears to be better than in other parts. A female labourer, Arini Nirmala attached to a private cleaning company and engage in garbage collecting in the area of Mutwal said that they did not keep the collected garbage for a long time. The company takes immediate action to clear the garbage in the area.

Our final stop was at Kolonnawa, Pothuwilkumbura dumpsite, where the dumping is presently carried out according to the Supreme Court guidelines. K. Ramyalata, mother of two who had lived more than 30 years in the area said that none of the CMC officials ever visited them to inquire into the problem. The children frequently fall ill due to the polluted environment. The situation will worsen now that this area has been selected as a garbage dumping site by the Colombo Municipality.

However garbage collection in Havelock Town, Kirulapana, Borella and Dematagoda areas which are the worst affected is going on at a slow pace further aggravating the health risk of the public.
 

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http://www.dailynews.lk/2009/07/07/news03.asp

Special committee to solve Colombo’s garbage woes

Commissioner calls for novel approach to handle issue:

Shirley Wijesinghe

A special committee tasked with finding out new strategies and solutions to overcome the garbage problem in the Colombo city has been appointed by Municipality Commissioner Bhadrani Jayawardana.

The committee has been advised to come out with a viable mechanism which would ensure the speedy collection of garbage in all six administrative zones in Colombo.

The Commissioner blamed Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) officials for sticking to traditional attitudes when confronting garbage and other related issues as one of the major factors which had contributed to the crisis.

She emphasized the need to look out of the box than following the same methods adopted by the CMC for the last 30 years, specially in the collection of garbage in the city. She said the CMC followed remedial measures in a hurry only when the key factor of the process broke down.

No proper plan had been practised to overcome these difficulties, she added. Jayawardana called for a novel approach to handle the garbage problem of the city. She added that in addition to the Kolonnawa dumping site, the Peliyagoda site will also be used under the direction of Minister Dinesh Gunawardane.
 

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Hi,

This is Kannan Infratech from India.

We have been approached to suggest modern Waste Water Treatment systems and Waste Management Techniques for Colombo & Suburbs and other cities in Srilanka.

Kindly highlight the problems you face, bottlenecks & other related issues. Even Specific problems in a locality may be highlighted.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Cool..so have you'll got the project? btw I live in the surbubs and the garbage truck comes only once a week..sometimes takes longer!!! while in the city it comes twice a week
 

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Living in the dehiwala & mt lavinia MC area, and like pck said collection truck comes only once a week and very often we aren't home when it decides to come (weekdays).
Earlier our area had a huge dumpster which was cleared once a week or so, but they've removed it due to complains from the people..

Also a while ago, I saw a whole bridge in this area blocked by garbage. They've since cleared it, but this can't be an isolated case.
 

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BOI says exemplary investor facilitation leads to US$ 230 million renewable energy project

The BOI signed an agreement worth US$ 230 million with the Malaysian-Bahraini joint venture Orizon Renewable Energy private Ltd to build a waste to energy plant.

The plant will be built on a 20-acre land at Kahatamedawelyaya, Muthurajawela, in the Gampaha District, Western Province.

The project agreement was signed by Channa Palansuriya and Upali Samaraweera, both board members of the BOI, Jayathilake, Secretary Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Natural Resources and Ms Siti Fatima Mohamed Shariff, Executive Director of Octogon Consolidated Berhad and Director of Orizon Renewable Energy Private Limited .

The project involves several phases. It will first engage in the rehabilitation of the existing Bloemendhal dumpsite. In addition the project also involves the construction and operation of a new landfill for fresh water wastes from Colombo and the Western Province.

The most important phase however is the construction of a waste to energy plant that will completely destroy up to 1,300 tonnes a day of solid waste.

Also important is that it will generate 56 Megawatt of power, and export about 45 MW to the net power grid.

The main attraction to the public and to the country is that thanks to this project, wastes will be completely destroyed without causing pollution or gas emissions. It also will ensure that no more lands are allocated to landfills.

Another dimension is the reduction of health risks as many diseases, such as dengue, have spread as a result of mosquitoes breeding in landfills and other areas where waste is deposited.

Yet another benefit is that through the production of renewable energy, there will be a reduction of Sri Lanka’s dependence on fossil fuel.

The BOI is keen to have promoted this project since in addition to the abovementioned benefits to the country, it has created many opportunities for the training of skilled local workers.

Sinc ethis is a new area that has not existed in Sri Lanka, it will result in a certain quantum of technology transfers to local communities

A. M. C Kulasekera, Deputy Director-General of the BOI, said the BOI had taken the lead role in establishing this project but the stakeholder agencies such as the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Sustainable Energy Authority, Public Utilities Commission, Land Reclamation Authority also contributed immensely towards its implementation. "The key to success is team work involving all stakeholder agencies," he added.

Kulasekera said: "the gains accrued from this BOI project will benefit not just the investor but society at large through an improvement of the environment, a reduction of health hazards, increased generation of much needed power, the creation of new employment opportunities for local people and the transfer of technology in the management of a highly specialized area such as solid waster management."

Kulasekera added: "Malaysia is an important investor in Sri Lanka and already this friendly nation has a very significant economic presence in the country such as investments in the telecommunications, housing, property development, manufacturing and plantation sector projects."

Siti Fatima Mohamed Shariff, Chairman of Orizon Renewable Energy said that the project was very significant as it will add 55 MW to the National grid.

"To produce energy will involve four major stages: the collection of waste, its gasification, syngas cooling and then power generation.

"The investment value of the total project will be US$ 230 million. Sri Lanka can also benefit from carbon credit qualification by introducing the environmentally friendly facility.

"We have scheduled construction work on the project to start in October 2010 and are confident that once the project is operational, people in Sri Lanka will feel the difference it will make in their lives."

Island

:banana::banana::banana::banana::banana:^^^^^^^^^^
 

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Malaysian company steps in to clear Bloemendhal garbage mountain

The Bloemendhal garbage mountain, very much in the news over the past few years as an ugly ‘acquisition’ in Colombo, is in the news once again with a top Malaysian renewable energy company planning to transform this waste to energy.

The company is setting up a renewable energy plant on a 20-acre land at Kahatamedawelyaya, Muthurajawela, in the Gampaha District, using tons and tons of the Bloemendhal garbage.

The 100 foot high-mountain of garbage will be discarded as waste and disposal of residue in an environment-friendly manner, according to A.M.C. Kulasekera Deputy Director General of Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI).



This garbage mountain at Bloemendhal near the Colombo Port which has been an eyesore for many years and a cause for health problems for nearby residents, will soon be removed. A Malaysian company has come forward to transform the garbage into an energy source at a renewable energy plant at Gampaha. See story below. File Pic by J. Weerasekera.

Speaking to the Business Times, he noted that the danger is when the garbage at Bloemendhal could catch fire due to the presence of methane gases but that it is not the time for arguments or more and more research to analyse how the gases are formed in it.

He said the rehabilitation of the dumping site by the the Malaysian company turning waste to energy was a timely action taken by the authorities to tackle the environmental pollution. It also brings a ray of hope for around 350 shanty dwellings of the city's poorest of the poor who have to deal with the squalor and disease that go hand in hand when living close to the mounds of garbage. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled not to dump any more garbage on the huge Bloemendhal garbage hill mountain.

The waste to energy conversion project worth US$ 230 million with the Malaysian-Bahraini joint venture Orizon Renewable Energy Private Ltd involves several phases. It will first engage in the rehabilitation of the existing Bloemendhal dump site, Mr Kulasekera said. The most important phase is the construction of an waste conversion plant that will convert 1,300 tonnes a day of solid waste to energy. The plant will be capable of generating 56 mg of power.

The main benefit to the public and to the country is that this waste will be completely destroyed without causing pollution or gas emissions. It will also ensure that no more lands will be allocated to landfills, Mr. Kulasekera said.

“To produce energy will involve 4 major stages: the collection of waste, its gasification, syngas cooling and then power generation. Sri Lanka can also benefit from carbon credit qualification by introducing the environmentally friendly facility. We have scheduled construction work on the project to start in October 2010 and are confident that once the project is operational, people in Sri Lanka will feel the difference it will make in their lives,” he said.

In addition to these benefits to the country, it will create many opportunities for the training of skilled local workers. Since this is a new area that has not existed in Sri Lanka, it will result in a certain quantum of technology transfers to local communities.

Mr Kulasekera said that the BOI has taken the lead role in establishing this project but the stakeholder agencies such as the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry, the Sustainable Energy Authority, the Public Utilities Commission and the Land Reclamation Authority have also contributed towards this initiative. "The key to success is team work involving all stakeholder agencies," he said.

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/100411/BusinessTimes/bt03.htm
 

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Living in the dehiwala & mt lavinia MC area, and like pck said collection truck comes only once a week and very often we aren't home when it decides to come (weekdays).
Earlier our area had a huge dumpster which was cleared once a week or so, but they've removed it due to complains from the people..

Also a while ago, I saw a whole bridge in this area blocked by garbage. They've since cleared it, but this can't be an isolated case.
from my recent visit to Colombo, I felt that the garbage collection service atleast within the city limits was decent, atleast compared to India. I am not sure of the Dehiwala-Mt Lavinia region though.
 

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from my recent visit to Colombo, I felt that the garbage collection service atleast within the city limits was decent, atleast compared to India. I am not sure of the Dehiwala-Mt Lavinia region though.
i think so too, but i guess we want the best, since we'r a tourist destination. we can leave a spec a dust on the road. we gotta look good.^^
 

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Waste King L-3300 Legend Series 3/4 HP Continuous Feed Operation Garbage Disposer is the modern best garbage disposal brand known to me so far. It has longest warranties in the industry. By following instructions , it is very easy to install , just follow the instructions. I personally suggest to have its experience at least once.
 

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I assume this is the right place to post this or should it go to the Ports thread?

Anyway now we will get a real way to get rid of garbage.........at least in the Port

Junk free Colombo Port soon
Dharma Sri Abeyratne

Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake hands over the furniture. Mapanawathura Vocational Technical College Principal Mahesh Nonis and Pundaluoya Tamil School Principal R. Subramaniam are also in the picture. Picture by Ajith Gangoda, Ududumbara group correspondent
A proper junk clearing mechanism will be introduced at the Colombo Port with the aim to convert it into a friendly environment for employees and visitors.

This decision was taken by Ports, Shipping and Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga who took into consideration the lack of a garbage clearance method.

According to sources, around 9,900 employees and 5,000 visitors arrive at the port premises daily.

"As a result of the busy environment and activities, around five tons of garbage gets collected at the port premises, which extends to around 375 acres," sources said.

The port premises should be converted to a people-friendly, clean and green environment by introducing a proper garbage clearance method, the minister said.

Ranatunga added that the government will take every possible measure to uplift the port sector since it is one of the key sectors of the country's economy.

- See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/junk-free-colombo-port-soon#sthash.3odxqVSB.dpuf
 
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