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The Solution – Garbage to Green Gold – #Meethotamulla – Disaster Relief

The recent disaster at the #Meethotamulla garbage dump has shaken the nation out of it’s slumber. The long weekend that brought about an enjoyable mood to holidaymakers throughout the country, has been dampened with the news of the Meethotamulla disaster. It’s however a change to see the country come together, collaborating, in providing relief aid to the displaced and distressed.

But what happens after all this has died down… After the hashtags #Meethotamulla, #LKA, have ceased their wild run on social media networks, after all the hue and cry has died down, we’re going to see people reverting back to their old ways. And then the media, finally, will pull out the story… It just wouldn’t be exciting enough.

The effects of garbage have already started taking effect. A small drive in the city of Dehiwela, just this morning, showed garbage having been tossed right and left on a few streets.

Stop. Just Stop. Stop tossing garbage on the streets, and stop talking.

It’s time, to take a step forward and start acting. Starting right from your homes.

Whatever happened, happened with the permission of the Almighty God. It cannot be reversed, but what we actually can do, is learn from our mistakes. Let’s start turning Garbage, into Gold, Green Gold. Today. Now. And we can do this, starting right from within our homes.

Head straight down, directly to The Solution.

Garbage, Global Warming, Plants, and Trees

#GlobalWarming. One reason for the drastic global warming nightmare, is due to acres of deforestation that happens around the world. But the sad issue is, that people do not pay heed to the knowledge, that every single tree cut down, every single leaf that is torn off a tree, makes an undesirable impact on global warming. Deforestation sometimes occurs when there is the need to grow more crops, or graze livestock, which of course is in order to help the poor farmer sustain a living.

And this, is where a major train of events, a long, and disastrous domino of effects, is caused to the natural life-cycle. To man, to animal, to insect, or to plant.

Industrialisation and Chemical Fertilizers

Deforestation = Money = Crops, Logs, Paper, etc…

With the industrialisation of farming, the cycle starts where the poor farmer takes a loan from the bank or an investor. This loan is now used to purchase fertilizers, seeds, and other equipment that is required to start the farming of the land.

The use of chemical fertilizers has a seriously adverse effect on society. And we’re not talking short term, we’re talking long term.

Here’s a small list of negative effects that these fertilizers promote:

  1. Groundwater Contamination
  2. Effects Acid Rain
  3. Ozone Depletion

…and believe me when I say, that’s just for starters…

For your infomation, groundwater contamination, according to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), has actually been linked to testicular cancer. But there’s so much… Just ask Google.

The Solution:

Planting, Growing, Cutting – A Cycle of Controlled, Measured Deforestation.

Land DivisionsYear 1 and 2Year 3 and 4Year 5 and 6Year 7 and 8Year 9 and 10
Land Block 1SeedlingsPlantsTrees – Stage 1Trees – Stage 2Trees (Ready for Cutting)
Land Block 2Trees (Ready for Cutting)SeedlingsPlantsTrees – Stage 1Trees – Stage 2
Land Block 3Trees – Stage 2Trees (Ready for Cutting)SeedlingsPlantsTrees – Stage 1
Land Block 4Trees – Stage 1Trees – Stage 2Trees (Ready for Cutting)SeedlingsPlants
Land Block 5PlantsTrees – Stage 1Trees – Stage 2Trees (Ready for Cutting)Seedlings

*According to the different types of trees, the life-cycle of a production tree can vary. The total 10 years is only a structure chart.

Compost – Help the trees, help yourself, help society.

An average household’s production of garbage per day in Sri Lanka, seems to range between 100g to 300g. This garbage, can easily be separated, and recycled right within your home, garden, and city, and thereby bring about an enormous change if done right.

Believe me when I say that you can do this at home. The best soil for growing plants can be taken from compost piles of leaves, dung, and garbage. Instead of burning trash, and leaves, and helping in the adverse effects of the environment, the tried and tested method is to convert this garbage into A-Grade compost, that will give you better soil, and in return, supply some of the best nutrients to plants and trees.

You’ll soon be able to start your own urban garden, and grow your own chillies, peppers, ladies fingers (also known as okra, bhindi, ochro or gumbo), and several other plants. Your trees will love this natural compost.

Home Composting – The Blueprint for Biodegradable Waste

Using the same tactics as the “Planting, Growing, Cutting – A Cycle of Controlled, Measured Deforestation” we can setup a quick, fantastic, and easy system that will stop wasting trash, and start strategically converting it into the best ingredients for your cooking pot.

And here’s what we would like to start doing…
*We would suggest composting in piles on soil, since compost bins will require watering, an sun exposure, and the other natural elements for the best results.

Your Compost Piles / BinsMonth 1 and 2Month 3 and 4Month 5 and 6Month 7 and 8Month 9 and 10
Pile 1Fresh Eco Garbage
Stink Level: None
Garbage Level 2
Stink Level: Terrible
Garbage Level 3
Stink Level: Breathable
Compost Level 1Compost Level – Final
Pile 2Compost Level – FinalFresh Eco Garbage
Stink Level: None
Garbage Level 2
Stink Level: Terrible
Garbage Level 3
Stink Level: Breathable
Compost Level 1
Pile 3Compost Level 1Compost Level – FinalFresh Eco Garbage
Stink Level: None
Garbage Level 2
Stink Level: Terrible
Garbage Level 3
Stink Level: Breathable
Pile 4Garbage Level 3
Stink Level: Breathable
Compost Level 1Compost Level – FinalFresh Eco Garbage
Stink Level: None
Garbage Level 2
Stink Level: Terrible
Pile 5Garbage Level 2
Stink Level: Terrible
Garbage Level 3
Stink Level: Breathable
Compost Level 1Compost Level – FinalFresh Eco Garbage
Stink Level: None

*From a small experiment we performed, we saw that leaves, banana and orange peals, in an average of 3 to 6 months, when piled on moist soil and left to the natural elements, of earthworms, sunlight, rain, etc.., turned into some of the most beautiful black soil. An average amount of leaves, banana, and orange peals would be tossed atop the pile, now and then. This kept the subsequent layers below moist and earthworm friendly.
*We wouldn’t recommend the use of cooked foods like rice or meat (fish is good), to be used in this compost method. But it’s totally up to you.

With around 5 compost piles or bins, within 3 to 6 months, you should be able to compost your home garbage to a certain reusable level. Due to the issues at Meethotamulla, it could be some time before the garbage collectors turn up, although they could certainly return tomorrow. In any case, this home project shouldn’t take up much of your time and effort. On the long run, you’ll be helping society at large, specially if every home were to compost their own eco waste. So start today. And invite your friends and family to do so as well.

You’ll most likely be able to purchase compost bins at your local super market, agriculture centre. If you wish to purchase them online, just head over to wow.lk; You should be able to get your compost bins there if they haven’t run out already.

Poly Waste – Recycling

Your best option is to have these recycled at established poly recycling centers around the country. Here’s a list that should help you.

NameAddressTele. No.
1Mr. A. S. IlliyasPlas Techs (Pvt) Ltd,
98/7, Hospital Road,Kalubowila, Dehiwela27/15, Sedawatta Road, Wellampitiya
011-2726736,
077-7325697
2Ms. Priyanwada BalachandranVIRIDIS (PVT) LTD,
Block B,Temple Burg Industrial Zone,
Homagama
011-2752708
3Mr. George. J. A. De SilvaPoly-Cycle (Pvt)Ltd.
124/5, Old Ambathale Road, Mulleriyawa, Angoda
077-7261390
4Mr. D. D. H. Ferdinando (PVC)Seth Sevana Padanama,
271/3, Galle Road, Idama, Moratuwa
0777-683389,01126470450115554708
5Mr. T. L. ChandrarathnaHiden Packaging (Pvt) Ltd,
No. 40,Uduwagewatta, Wethara, Polgasowita
011-2704703
6Mr. Anura JasunthaliyanaEco Sans Plastics (Pvt) Ltd,
No. 128 B, Gangarama Road, Werahera, Boralesgamuwa
071-7145766
7Mr. Pradeep Samarasighe210/1, High Level Road, Nugegoda071-4293777
8Mr. Mohamad Usuf JasilNo. 11, Wimalasirida Mel Mawatha, Rathmalana072-2754126
9Mr. Gonapinuwala Gamini253, Serpantine Road, Borella077-7894361   077-7908523
This list expands to up to around 80 recyclers around the nation, and can be obtained from the Sri Lankan government’s information portal, found here: http://www.gic.gov.lk/gic/index.php?qaview=qa&serv_id=1761&id=1761&task=viewQa&option=com_info

Did you enjoy reading this? Do you think you can make a difference? Do you have a better idea? Post it in the comments below and let’s get the discussion rolling.

But all talk and no action, is not what we’re aiming, so let’s make an effort and take action as well. Today. No, now. Share the word.