Posted on August 30th, 2016

Prepared by Dr Sarath Obeysekera ( Ex-Chairman SLLRCDC )

I have proposed the most effective and fastest solution to the garbage issue and wrote many opinions .But none of the decision makers are willing to listen




1.    Purpose

Meethotamulle in Kollonawa area is being used by Colombo Municipal Council  ( CMC)  as a garbage dumping ground ,which has created an extremely hazardous environment ,which led to mass scale protests by the residents in the area .The matter has been taken to courts by some people seeking legal redress due to the fact the authorities have not been able to find a long lasting solution.

A company with majority shareholding held by Western Power (a subsidiary of Aitken Spence ) has mooted a project to segregate garbage  to compost and dry burnable material with plans for generating electricity. The project is on stand still due to non-availability of an investor. Many other private investors are trying to find an economically viable solution and unfortunately none has come with a viable plan.

1.    Immediate Requirement

It is ESSENTIAL to find an alternative site to dump almost 1200 tons garbage delivered daily by CMC to, calm the public down ,but neither UDA nor CMC has been able to find a land for above .Over 2-3 million tons of old and new garbage are lying in Meethotatamulle and the immediate requirement is get rid of part or the whole heap to some other place in close vicinity.

It is not advisable to carry raw wet garbage to any land nearby to dump as it may not be cost effective but also it may generate public outcry. Hence solution below will be the most suitable option providing that the Government and the Authorities who have a land bank and the resources agree with the plan proposed

2.    Intermediate Solution

Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation ( SLLDC) –holds a land bank near Colombo.In Muthrajawela .SLLRDC developed a 400 acres as am Industrial park ,by reclaiming a marsh with Sea sand in 1996 after obtaining Environment Clearance .and now fully occupied by various companies as fuel and gas storage ,ware housing and power generation etc .SLLRDC lately obtain environment clearance to reclaim 200 more acres between the buffer zone and the 400 acre developed plot and now ready to offer to investors for various industries.

SLLRDC has also pumped over 2.5 million Cu M of Sea sand which is now stock piled next to the 200 acre plot and being sold   to retail buyers .This stock pile of sand can be used to reclaim the 200 acres and offer to investors, and SLLRDC has advertised the land calling for offers.

Government can initiate a action plan to remove the OLD garbage which has already being party composted lying in the southern part of the Meethotamulle Dump using trucks to the 200 acre plot for reclamation .It is advisable to use part of the available sand to lay a 1-2 feet layer in the marshy layer  of 200 acres prior to dumping of the OLD GARBAGE and fresh layer of either sand or earth ( being excavated in many building sites in Colombo) can be used to cover the garbage payers one by one .SLLRDC has a large fleet of equipment and trucks  which are idling and the workforce can undertake this work…Government via Treasury and also from CMC coffers funds should be made available to SLLRDC to carry out above work. It is anticipated that removal of the OLD GARBAGE can be completed within 3- 4 months.Land which is cleared in Meethotmualle dump may be used to install a Garbage sorting ware house and compacting unit  for further transportation either for incineration or  degasifying else where

Residents in the area can have employment for segregation of the garbage, which is now being practiced in Karadiyana Site in Moratuwa

Part of the 200 acre land can be used for installation of the incineration plant which can be the source to generate steam for power generation.

The land reclaimed by above means can be offered to Investors who may come with a investment plan to generate power using the raw garbage which can be transported after compacting and bailing

3.    Executing Agencies


 CMC ,UDA ,SLLRDC and a Treasury Representative shall form a committee headed by a high powered authoritative person  who shall report to Prime Minister for speedy execution of the project .

Government shall appoint a high powered officer who can undertake to manage and  above task providing absolute authority is given to  executing above, subject to agreement by all three agencies above .

Treasury Representative shall provide avenues to source funds for the above project 


2.    Conclusion

During a reason visit to Maldive Island .the writer has witnessed how garbage is carried by landing crafts to an area closed to the city ,and over 500 acres has been reclaimed by du ping garbage and covering with sea sand .This newly generated land is now an Industrial Estate in Male .Maldives has very stringent environment rules and yet they opted to do above to solve the problem

Therefore reclaiming the land observing proper guidelines not to pollute the area for Industrial Purpose is the ideal short term solution for above problem



Prepared by Dr Sarath Obeysekera ( Ex-Chairman SLLRCDC )


  1. S.Gonsal Says:

    You should have added a section called “opportunities for the ministers” so that there is some motivation for the politicians, what percentage they get and how.

  2. Christie Says:

    Dr Obeyasekara

    I agree with you. But not Muthurajawela. Muthrajawela wet lands are unique with a unique environment and flora and fauna. We have already raped in and destroyed Muthurajawela. I go back more than fifty years when we stated raping Muthurajawela with a dredger pumping sand from Kelani river. I remember how beautiful was Muthurajaela and we talked what dirty work we were doing to reclaim such a beautiful environment but in fact we were destroying one of our most valuable environment, flora and fauna that will never be reclaimed. One of my friends was the engineer who was incharge of the operation. It was raped with sand to build a road and a bridge.

    So we should leave whatever is left of Muthurajawela.

    There is a problem with the Rubbiush dump at Meethotamulla. From what I have seen in the last floods and rain it is dump consisting of vegetable matter and hard rubbish. vegetable matter decays and hard rubbish may compact.

    So dumping this mixture in Muthurajawela will form a bigger problem for the future.

    We should handle the present garbage by dividing vegetable matter from hard Rubbish and then treating them as appropriate. Composting the natural carbonic matter or using it directly as manure of animal feed. Hard rubbish separated as recyclable like glass, aluminum, plastics etc; then any that can be used as fuel to generate heat, left over for filling for elevated roads etc.

    Meetotamullsa is a hard problem and as I can see it cannot be solved by moving the problem.

    An on site solution is more appropriate. Make the dumps foot print smaller and the dump taller. A concrete dam wall around the dump and compact it as much as we can. Then cover it with sand or plastic mesh or coconut fiber mat and let it to rot. We might be able to extract things like methane. We could also built an amusement park or buildings on it.

    Then who ever decided to dump rubbish in Meetotamulla and who made billions and billions from it should be investigated.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress