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
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
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.