Meetotamulla Garbage
Posted on April 15th, 2019

By Garvin Karunaratne

Two years have passed and the meetotamulla garbage mountains are yet intact. 

Many attempts have been made at clearing but none have so far worked.

Two years ago I suggested that it be used as compost on coconut estates.

To me that seems the easiest solution and done in rupees and we do not need foreign exchange. If only it had been approved the garbage mountain would have vanished.

I enclose my earlier paper for kind consideration

Man Made Tragedies: The Garbage : Is there a way out.

Posted on May 16th, 2017

Garvin Karunaratne, Ph.D. Michigan State University Former Government Agent, Matara District.


The Garbage Disaster

The garbage pile at Meetotamulla erupted, took the lives of 32 or more and we are in complacency- now, we are talking. There are piles of Garbage at various places and some authorities state that they will not explode.  I am certain that those authorities were well aware of the Meetotamulla Pile before it erupted.

There are accepted methods of turning the garbage into power, and these are being looked into but it  will definitely take time. In the manner we now act, it may take a few years to have those systems going.

In the meantime the piles that are already there are dangers and what about the daily intake of garbage, we do not know where to dump it!.

I managed my family farm- a small coconut acreage for five years and took great pains to dig trenches and fill them with dried leaves and foliage turning them into compost to be nutrients. Today in the heart of London my home garbage is buried and we apply a chemical powder to enhance the process of the garbage becoming compost. We collect the dried leaves and make compost- it takes a year or so and that too with adding chemicals.

3 Responses to “Meetotamulla Garbage”

  1. aloy Says:

    The solution they selected was to send garbage to Putlam and the first phase of protests already started. The second one will be when they start to take garbage in the train all the way from Colombo to Putlam. The stench will pollute the air and people living by the rail line will start complaining.

    I am only a Civil & Structural Engineering professional and not a garbage disposal expert, but when Meethotamulla disaster happened I decided to at least look out and suggest some solutions. I even tried to contact the prez over his so called public channel but was not successful. In Singapore there is a very successful mechanism of garbage processing going on and I bought a book giving all the details including the construction aspects. They are disposing it to a land fill at Semakau island. That place has become such an eco-friendly place that their children go there for picnics. Though our seas are much rougher than sea around Semakau island there are ways and means of creating such a facility. I therefore, contacted some professional who are known achievers in the engineering profession (including someone from Surbana Jurong, the Singaporean company) and tried to contact the political authority to give it a try, but to no avail. I even went to the man’s ministry head quarters and personally handed over letters seeking an appointment two times as I was advised by my associates who were at top position in the previous governments. May be he and his top brass who have not done a single project successfully have other Mega thing at their hands that will put our country in more trouble.

  2. aloy Says:

    They may have opened a few high rises started previously. Creating large number of high rises with 500sq.ft. living spaces without adequate infrastructure is not successful development. We already suffer due to inadequate water and power in each dry spell and spending hours in traffic jams. These guys want to bring more people from villages to cities and compound the problem.

  3. dingiri bandara Says:

    Best solution for the garbage problem is to reduce creation of garbage. THE BIODEGRADABLES can be converted into compost. The produces of non biodegradable stuff like plastic products( essential and non essential) and the plastic packaging should find safe methods make them biodegradable. These companies make billions of $ in profits producing these products and and they must be made to set aside a part of the profits for that purpose.The consumers also need to cooperate in reducing garbage especially the plastics.
    This is a global problem. The oceans are getting polluted and filling up with plastics garbage affecting marine life and the food chain.

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