Emeritus Professor at the Department of Geography of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Sri Jayewardenepure, Prof. Jinadasa Katupotha urged the Government to set up fresh mechanisms to segregate garbage and recycle them in order to address the country’s waste disposal problems.

He criticized the Government’s proposed moves and plans afoot to take the garbage of Kolonnawa to the Miocene limestone bed quarry in Puttalam, used by Holcim Lanka Limited.

“If the Government is so keen on obtaining lands for Ministers, and other MPs, Provincial Councillors and their followers, they can reclaim the land of the Beira Lake and the area surrounding the Parliamentary complex, channels and other wetlands using the garbage from Orugodawaththe and Kolonnawa,” he opined.

“We need mills to select and separate garbage and then recycling plants (two In Kolonnawa which would also create employment opportunities) to clean the garbage prior to turning them into fertilizer (which once chemicals, if necessary, are added could be used in tea, coconut, paddy and vegetables), Prof. Katupotha said.

He added that gas too could be produced (the contract to do so could be given to local business folk) which in turn could be used to generate electricity.

Prof. Katupotha said that MPs, Ministers (especially those in charge of the environment) and Presidents of all Governments past and present were the ones to be held responsible for the problem of garbage plaguing the country.

Reclaiming wetlands and lowlands and engaging in landfills (to suit the urban areas) is not a solution, he added.

Garbage could be turned into wealth and that it is a resource needs to be understood, he commented.