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Youth invents machine to recycle garbage

Ability to segregate  waste by itself

Many streets of Colombo were seen littered with garbage which had accumulated throughout several days.

Garbage collection in several parts of Colombo continues to be a mess as residents are still used to the old way of disposing them, instead of segregating the waste according to the requirements of the local government bodies that are in charge of collecting and disposing them.

The recent calamity at the Meethotamulla waste dumping site raised fresh problems pertaining to garbage disposal.

The government’s attempts to find new locations resulted in protests by residents adjacent to the proposed sites.

Vikum Sampath
Vikum Sampath

Last week President Maithripala Sirisena stated that Rs. 2 billion had been allocated to set up a garbage dumping site in Aruvakkaru, Puttalam.

Whether this move would work out is something that one should wait and watch.
The main issue here is garbage disposal. Recycling was one of the aspects that was considered by the government as part of a long term solution for the problem, the waste to energy project being another option.

While the government is looking for options, a young man has been using a recycling machine that he had invented as way back as 2011.

This youth from Gampola, Vikum Sampath has grabbed the attention of all those who were seeking solutions for the stagnating garbage issue.

Though his invention did not get the attention it deserved back then, it has been noticed by authorities who are struggling to find solutions for the garbage menace.

Consequently Vikum presented his active model at National Engineering Research and Development Centre (NERD) last Friday, June 16, in the presence of Minister, Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, Susil Premajayantha, Project Director, The Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI), Prof. Ajith De Silva and several others.

Vikum said the initial plan was to issue one machine for each local authority and to train a group of workers including a driver, operator and a foreman for each machine.
He said the machine will create several thousands of employment opportunities for people while helping to solve the issue of garbage disposal.

Vikum explained the cost of machines would depend on the amount of garbage collected at each local government.

“It usually costs around Rs 6 to 6.5 million for a machine which can recycle around 500-800 tons of garbage. This recycle machine will reduce the whole cost of waste management by 75%. And the machine can be made by using parts of old buses and lorries that are not in working condition,” Vikum explained.

Another advantage of the machine is there is no need to segregate the waste. “The machine has the ability to separate plastic, metal and bio degradable garbage by itself,” Vikum added.

In addition, this machine also has the ability to recycle used plastic and scrap metals that could be used by a separate industry.

“This is not just a waste recycling machine it can be called as the machine that makes raw materials by recycling plastic and metal,” Vikum added.

He pointed out that polythene, plastic and metal that are collected by various agents are exported either to China or India and again they are imported as raw materials for industries at high cost.

“The machine will solve this issue by reproducing carbonic materials, plastic and metal.”