Garbage and rotting country with overaged Politicians
Posted on July 18th, 2017

Dr Sarath Obeysekera


FEE FOR GARBAGE COLLECTION –It is high time ……..

Photograph above shows three garbage bins kept in the car porch in front of a house in London .If the occupants place wet food left overs in blue or green bin other than in the gray bin,collectors will not touch it .People pay more than 25000 Rs per month for collection of Garbage and using the Green Bin meant for collection of green garbage such as leaves and tree cuttings, is also charged with an additional amount .Unless  we adapt such a system in Sri Lanka like in the west where people pay for garbage collection in addition to the meagre council tax we pay ,we will never be able to solve  the garbage problem.Any household who puts papers and other recyclable items in the bin other than the blue bin will be charged by the local council and you are liable to pay heavy penalties By imposing such rules ,I am sure neither Joint Opposition not Supreme court can overturn such ruling imposed by the government .


We Sri Lankan are hood winked by the politicians who have do not feel the pulse of the intellectuals and the poor masses .Carriage of the ruling class is pulled in multiple directions and it is stand still .On one side government wants to build garbage incinerators and make compost and then another factions wants it to be transported to Arruwakkalu lime pits without being sorted out .CEB and Treasury are dully dallying on how much they should pay for the power generated by incineration. Every action  listed above smell corruption

What the whole country should do is spend all that money and give three plastic bins with electronic chips to identify the owners ( as our people will steel anything ) and have a national awareness to segregate garbage .Local councils are defunct and nobody wants to create the awareness that garbage sorting at source is a must .

Once sorted out (like in developed countries) people can make compost behind the kitchen and burn papers and allow collection of plastics and metal for re cycling I know a company why make plug boxes out of waste plastics.

We should read  following statistics

How long does it take to decompose?

Paper towel 2-4 weeks

Banana peel 3-4 weeks

Paper bag   I month

Newspaper 1.5 months

Apple core 2 months

Card board 2 months

Cotton glove 3 months

Orange peel 6 months

Plywood 1-3 years

Wools sock 1-5 years

Milk cartons 5 years

Cigarette buts 10-12 years

Leather shoes 25 to 40 years

Tinned steel can 50 years

Foamed plastic cups 50 years

Rubber boot sole 5-80 years

Plastic containers 50 to 80 years

Aluminium can 200-500 years

Plastic bottles 450 years

Disposable diaphers  550 years

Monofilament fishing line  600 years

Plastic bags 200-1000 years

Politians –every 5 years !

For last 30 years I have never thrown out any garbage bag to the street for collection .I make compose or burn the balance .

News papers are also part of rotting garbage culture  who concentrate on Garbage –News but do not contribute to solving  the national issues

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

6 Responses to “Garbage and rotting country with overaged Politicians”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Sarath is WRONG about POLITICIANS.

    RW is in parliament for 40 years!!
    My3 for 30 years.
    MR for 50 years.
    Karunkaya, Mangalaya, Siripalaya, Thonda, Hackhim, Sam-bund-an, etc for 25 years.

  2. dingiri bandara Says:

    Garbage is a big problem all over the world.One solution is to stop creating and using the type of garbage like plastic bags and Styrofoam packaging and recycle the products that can be recycled. We have so many qualified, educated and capable people who can find a way with the advanced technology available who can find a solution to this problem. Only the will and the cooperation of politicians is needed.
    It is also not right for the people to expect only the government to solve this problem but for the public to cooperate and assist.

  3. Nihal Perera Says:

    I agree with dingiri bandara. As much as I hate the governments and politicians, especially in SL, when it comes to garbage the general public has a big role to play. They need to understand and practice 3R’s – Reduce, Re-use it, and Recycling. Unless people realise that they are part of the problem, no government in the world can solve this problem.

    Governments of all levels should educate and help the public how to manage garbage, and recycling as a part of everyday life. And, implement programs to reduce or ban the use of Styrofoam, plastic, especially plastic water bottles, which is a universal problem, not only in SL. Education is the key, especially in SL where nobody seems to be aware of the dangers of not managing garbage and throwing plastic bottles and other recycling materials all over the place.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    I too agree with dingiri bandara on the need for ordinary citizens to take MORE responsibility for managing and disposing of garbage and waste materials.

    Furthermore, I also subscribe to Nihal Perera’s paradigm of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle wrt to garbage generation and environmentally safe disposal.

    There is MUCH MONEY to be made in managing garbage in ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY and SUSTAINABLE WAYS. Garbage can be recycled to produce useful consumer profucts, used to generate electrical power via thermal combustion and biodigestion based techniques, and to produce organic fertilizer through composting methods that can be deployed on both small and large scales.

    As dingiri bandara said, there are tried and tested technologies to do this; and it is DEFINITELY NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! Only the will, determination and discipline is needed, with some effective and visionary person like Gota heading the government oversight end of it.

    Gota CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED how effective the government can be in managing this. Why can’t others set aside politics and follow his example … in the nation’s interest?

    Finally, I would like to touch upon how much shramadana/self-help can contribute to disposing of garbage, preserving and maintaining a pristine environment, and reducing health epidemics like the recent dengue outbreak.

    It irks me to see crowds of able-bodied local people, wallowing neck-deep in self-pity, and bemoaning the inability of the government to undertake the cleanup of roads, canals and drains filled with garbage and stagnant water. Why not get together and fix the problems themselves periodically with a little shramadana?

    Why do ARMED FORCES personnel have to be DEPLOYED to do these things only after EMERGENCIES are precipitated through NEGLECT, while able-bodied LOCALS look-on from the sidelines pontificating ad-nauseam?

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    A very useful and timely article by Dr Sarath Obesekara.

    This should be REQUIRED READING for ALL Sri Lankans, especially those in government service at local and national levels.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    We agree with digiri & Ananda that both the govt & the entrepreneurs could remove and use garbage as money spinners.

    Gota has already demonstrated what the govt can do properly, as their duty, to remove garbage. The present inept Yahap folk can use his idea (through the World Bank study), to remove the garbage safely to the Putlam lime stone quarry. They could also use this venture to generate energy from garbage collected in the quarry ?

    Lanka deserves a better educated Parliament with a will to do the right thing by the Country – in short, an able and PATRIOTIC Parliament.

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