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 implementing the following three activities aimed at improving the waste management system in Sri Lanka:
1)Assistance for the development of a revised national waste management strategy
2) Assistance for the development of waste management strategy and action plan for Negombo City
3) Assistance for the preparation of good practices.
In regards to activity 2), in consultation with MOMDE and Negombo Municipal Council, and considering the need and commitment to improving the current waste management in the city, Negombo was selected as the pilot city for development of waste management strategy and action plans. CCET team visited Negombo City twice in March and October respectively to meet key stakeholders including the Mayor, Commissioner, and Public Health Inspectors, and also to observe and understand the current 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, CCET-IGES is assisting Negombo Municipal Council to develop and strengthen an efficient waste management plan for the city in coordination with Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities (FSLGA) as a local partner. The inception workshop aimed to introduce our project and team members to the key stakeholders in the city to discuss the project activities and gain everyone’s commitment and support in the development of a city strategy and also in the implementation of a pilot project in line with the developed city strategy.