Waste-to-energy plants a costly project for the Govt - Ministry Secretary

13 August 2019 - 75   - 0

Waste-to-energy plants in the country have proven to be costly due to the high levels of moisture in waste, Megapolis and Western Development Secretary Nihal Rupasinghe said today (Aug 13).

Addressing a media conference, the Ministry Secretary said that it costs Rs 35.10 to produce a unit of electricity from waste when compared to other means of producing electricity which costs about Rs 22 a unit.

“The government has to incur an additional cost of about Rs 3000 to produce electricity from a tonne of waste,” the Ministry secretary added.

He explained that projects of this nature was not feasible in Sri Lanka since moisture levels in waste range between 70 – 80 percent unlike countries in Europe or Singapore in which waste-to-energy projects are implemented.

The press conference was also attended by Social Specialist of the ministry Nimal Premathilaka to provide a briefing on the sanitary landfill in Aruwakkalu, Puttalam.

Residents, environmentalists, and several other parties have been protesting against the government’s decision to dump waste at the Aruwakkalu sanitary landfill citing environmental issues and the failure to seek public opinion prior to this move.

However, the Social Specialist refuted such claims by ensuring that the “ministry will take 100 percent responsibility for the sanitary landfill project”

He also said that the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC)'s concerns of incurring a massive cost for transporting waste from Colombo to Aruwakkalu could not be accepted as a reasonable issue.

Mr. Premathilaka pointed out that the Presidential Commission which was appointed to investigate the causes of the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse had revealed that the CMC had spent about Rs 256 million for dumping waste at waste lands and low lands.

“The CMC had spent around Rs 215 million to dump waste at Meethotamulla in 2015 alone,” he said citing the one-member presidential commission’s report.

The collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump in 2017 had claimed the lives of 32 persons who were living in the area.

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