Sri Lanka launches hotline for garbage collection in Colombo

Sri Lanka’s Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry has launched a hotline for people to make complaints about garbage collection in the Colombo Municipal area.

The ministry has set up a special unit called the “National Task Force for Management of Waste” which will be manned by the tri-forces and an environmental police unit.

“People can call and complain about issues pertaining to waste collection in their respective areas,” a senior official in the ministry said.

“For the moment the unit will first focus on the Western Province which is currently facing issues with garbage collection and later the service will be expanded to other parts.”

According to available data the Western Province alone produces around 60 percent of the nation’s waste, with 3,400 metric tons produced per day.

About 86 percent of waste is dumped in the open with only about 6 percent of this made into compost and about 4 percent of it recycled.

In April, a garbage dump in Colombo collapsed killing at least 28 people. An explosion had caused a portion of the mound to collapse, sweeping houses off their foundations and burying others in a residential neighborhood.

Residents near the dump had complained about it for decades, but the mountain of garbage grew every year.

The prime minister announced after the incident that trash would no longer be deposited there.

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