What a lot of garbage!

By Hiranthi Fernando and Dhananjani Silva

Garbage collection has been a recurrent nightmare in Colombo as well as in the suburbs. Complaints keep flowing in to the People’s Forum about uncollected garbage in residential areas, which is a health hazard. In Pietersz Place, Kohuwela, for instance, residents have complained that their garbage has not been collected since April.

Garbage piled up on the roadsides is a common problem. While the authorities point the finger at the public saying that they dump bags of garbage even where there are boards clearly prohibiting it, residents say they have no option when their garbage is not collected from their homes. “We live in small houses, and there is no way in which we can keep rotting, smelly garbage at home for more than three days,” said one irate Colombo resident.

The People’s Forum contacted some of the Municipal Councils in Colombo and the suburbs for some answers to the mounting garbage problem. Kirimandala Mawatha, Maligawatte Flats, Lawrence Place, Wellawatte, Kotte Rajamaha Vihara Mawatha, approach to Battaramulla town, Buthgamuwa Road at Rajagiriya, Allen Avenue in Dehiwela were some of the places the People’s Forum focused on.

Garbage piled up at Kotte Rajamaha Vihara Mawatha Pix by Berty Mendis

Regarding the garbage littering the roadside at Kirimandala Mawatha, Director Engineering, Solid Waste Management of the Colombo Municipal Council Lalith Wickremaratne, said that in the Colombo Municipal area, garbage collection has been privatised in Colombo North, Colombo West and half of Colombo Central. House to house collection of garbage is being carried out.

As regards the garbage problem at Maligawatte Flats, Mr. Wickremaratne said that large bins have been installed along Hijra Road. Residents of the Maligawatte Flats are expected to put their garbage in these bins, or to wait for collection by the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA). The NHDA, being the owner of these flats, is responsible for collecting the garbage from the households and transporting it to Hijra Road for collection by CMC.

When People’s Forum contacted the Municipal Engineer, Kotte Municipal Council, regarding the garbage collection in Rajamaha Vihara Road and the Battaramusslla town area, he too complained of the public dumping garbage on the road. The Municipality is working on a new system of garbage collection, whereby residents in the area would be given a specific time when the garbage collectors would come. This system has already been implemented in some areas, and will be effective in the above mentioned areas within a month.

Mayor of the Dehiwela/Mt. Lavinia Muncipal Council, Sunethra Ranasinghe said that she feels the garbage problem in Dehiwela is getting better. On the main roads, garbage is collected every morning. In the interior areas, house to house collection is being carried out every two to three days. The garbage collected is dumped at Karadiyana, which, however, is a temporary solution. She has made a proposal to the Provincial Chief Minister to try to get a recycling plant as a permanent solution to service a few of the neighbouring councils, as the investment is too much for the Dehiwela/Mount Lavinia Council alone.

Residents who have problems regarding undue delays in the collection of garbage could contact the following numbers.

Colombo Municipal Council
Colombo North – 2447128, 2399586
Areas: Mattakkuliya, Modera, Thotalanga and Kotahena

Colombo Central (north) – 2431694
Areas: Gintupitiya, Kochchikade, Grandpass, Aluthkade, Fort and Pettah

Colombo Central (south) – 2436888
Areas: Maradana, Panchikawatte, Slave Island and Kollupitiya

Borella – 2674340
Areas: Borella, Cinnamon Gardens and Dematagoda

Colombo East – 2512673
Areas : Narahenpita, Kirulapona and Thimbirigasyaya

Colombo South – 2582778
Bambalapitiya, Wellawatte and Pamankada

Residents within the Colombo Municipal area, who encounter serious problems could also contact the Director (Engineering) Solid Waste Management Division on Tel: 2691222, Fax: 2674314, e-mail: dirswm@sltnet.lk

Dehiwela/Mt. Lavinia
Ward 4 and 11 - 2732826
Areas : Nedimala and Kalubowila

Wards 26, 27, 28 and 29 (Ratmalana) - 2733530
Areas: Viharaya, Ratmalana West, Ratmalana East and Kandawela

Wards 16, 17 and 19 (Mt. Lavinia) - 2732810
Areas: Kawdana, Mt. Lavinia Urban area and Wattarappala

Wards 20 and part of 15 (Badowitha) - 2732815
Areas: Katukurunduwatte and Kawdana East

Wards 12, 14 and part of 15 (Karagampitiya) - 2732817
Areas: Malwatta, Karagampitiya and part of Kawdana East

Wards 21 and 25 (Attidiya) - 2732837
Areas: Attidiya North and South

Wards 9 and 10 - 2732801
Areas: Dehiwela East and Udyanaya (Zoo area)

Wards 7, 8, 6 and 5 - (Municipal Council area) - 2732800
Areas: Galwala, Dehiwela West, Hagbodhiya and Saranankara

Ward 13 (Dehiwela junction) - 2732814
Areas: Jayatilleke

Wards 1, 2 and 3 (Kohuwela) - 2853403
Areas: Wilwala, Dutugemunu and Kohuwela

Four wards in the Dehiwela/Mt. Lavinia MC have been privatised. These wards include the areas Wathumulla, Wedikanda, Pirivena and Vidyalaya. Complaints could be addressed to tel: 4204649.

Kotte Municipal Council
Garbage collection in the southern section of Kotte MC has been privatised. Areas: Pita-Kotte, Ethul-Kotte, tel: - 0773-291778 and Nugegoda, tel: 0773-291780, 0773-291779 and 0773-291773.

In the northern sections of Kotte, garbage collection is handled by the Kotte MC. Residents could contact the PHI or the Municipal Engineer, tel: 2874701/2.


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