Learning Waste Management Issues in Negombo City through Ward Meetings

Date: 19-23 February 2019, Negombo city, Sri Lanka
Conference Proceeding
Wards meetings

IGES Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies (CCET) and UNEP-IETC undertook preliminary discussions with the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (MOMDE) in March 2018. In October 2018, MOMDE and CCET agreed to work together in the development of waste management strategy and action plan for Negombo city. Moreover, CCET team visited Negombo during March 2018 and October 2018 receptively to meet the key stakeholders including the Mayor, Commissioner, and Public Health Inspectors, and also to observe the waste management facilities and understand the current overall waste management in the city.
Negombo is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in Sri Lanka and it is experiencing a rapid increase in waste generation. The daily waste generation is 110-120 tonnes of which 70-90 tonnes of waste is collected. Out of the collected waste, 10 tonnes of waste is used for compost-making at its compost plant. The remaining 60-80 tonnes of collected waste is currently disposed of at Ovitiyawatta, an area of private land rented by the city, as there is no public land for final disposal. Negombo City is carrying out some activities for management of their waste such as composting, recycling and public awareness, etc. but only on a very small scale. Most of the generated waste in the city is dumped into non-engineered landfill with very limited resource recovery. Moreover, the lifetime of the landfill is expected to end within less than two years and no alternative options have been found for final disposal. Therefore, Negombo City needs a proper waste management strategy and long-term action plans to improve the current waste management situation as well as prepare itself to tackle future problems in the waste sector. Furthermore, this can help Sri Lanka to achieve its global commitments at the local level such as the reduction of marine plastic waste, the SDGs and Paris Agreement.
In this regard, Negombo Municipal Council (NMC) and CCET jointly organized an inception workshop on 21st January 2019 with an aim to discuss the project activities and gain everyone’s commitment and support in the development of a city strategy.
Based on the need for a ward-based meeting highlighted by the inception workshop, CCET conducted the ward-based meeting with community people on 19-23 February 2019 to identify the current waste management system, challenges and priorities in waste management sector in different wards of Negombo city. The finding from the ward meetings is summarized in the report with the aim that the outputs from the report will be considered in follow up activities for the development of city strategy on waste management for Negombo city.