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Sunday, 29 November 2009

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Compost from waste to treasure

A ceremony for the formulation of the Pilisaru Brigade (Pilisaru Balakaya) took place last Wednesday at the National Youth Services Council Maharagama, in the presence of Ven Athuraliya Ratana Thera, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources and Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Agriculture Development, Agrarian Services. Many other agricultural researchers, field workers as well as over thousand farmers were also present.

"Nobody resorts to strikes asking for a resolution for the garbage problem. But under no circumstance will we cease our efforts to resolve the waste problem," said Minister Champika Ranawaka. He pointed out that according to Sri Lankan law the responsibility of solid waste management lies with the local governments and emphasized that the polluter must bear the cost of the pollution.

Ven. Athuraliya Rathana Thera said that an attitudinal change in the public mind is required to achieve this task and that it must start at school.

The Pilisaru project, a project that deals with solid waste management that started in April 2008 - under the Central Environmental Authority - has now expanded to include Colombo, Kalutara and Gampaha districts.

The project is now in force in 40 out of 330 local government areas. The objective of the project is to turn solid waste into resources in order to make Sri Lanka waste free by 2012.

The Pilisaru project provides technical know-how and financial support for solid waste disposal and management. It encourages recycling, with an emphasis on reuse. "Today no one can argue that there is a lack of funds or technical expertise for waste management", said Minister Champika Ranawaka.

"Over Rs. 65 billion are spent on chemical fertilizer annually", said Minister Maithripala Sirisena. He pointed out that through such ventures as compost production, coupled with the fertile soil, Sri Lanka can easily find viable solutions to a potential food crisis.

Production of compost using biodegradable waste is one of the most successful ventures of the Pilisaru project that reduces the use of chemical fertilizer which can often have adverse environmental impacts.

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