The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded approximately Rs 97 million ($625,000) to three local organizations to recycle municipal waste in the western coastal belt and Galle district.
The three organizations, Janathakshan, Sevanatha, and the Sri Lanka Centre for Development Facilitation, will help communities partner with local government to prevent improperly disposed of plastic and polythene waste from entering marine environments.
They will also raise awareness and train communities on proper solid waste management. The grants will support partnerships between local government, civil society, and the private sector to create public awareness on proper segregation and reuse of plastics and polythene, the US Embassy in Colombo said.
“Over the past decades, municipal waste has evolved from a focus on disposal methods to a greater focus on prevention and recycling. USAID’s support will help Sri Lankans expand their efforts and move municipal waste management up the “waste hierarchy” that includes waste prevention, reuse, recycle, recovery, and disposal,” said USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives Andrew Sisson.
USAID funding will be used to help conduct a thorough analysis on what causes the excessive usage of polythene and plastics by businesses such as supermarket chains, restaurants, and hotels.
The project will also evaluate existing efforts on sustainable waste management. Experts will develop a plan for using alternative materials based on the analysis.
Additionally, the grants will be used to create livelihood and income generating opportunities such as composting and the sale of recyclable and reusable plastics.