General Manager of waste factory refutes allegations

Published : 10:48 am  October 27, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (970) reads | 

s6TEXT & PIC BY DAYARATHNA PATHIRANA Responding to an article published in the Daily Mirror on Tuesday (25) titled ‘Residents claim waste factory prime reason for Dengue,’ the General Manager of the concerned organisation said the factory for the recycling of discarded electronic items in Godaparagahadeniya, Homagama was an approved entity by the Central Environment Authority (CEA). Speaking to the Daily Mirror previously, the residents of the area claimed the factory was unauthorised and that it was the root cause of Dengue and other environmental hazards in the area. However, the General Manager of the factory had to say this: A building of 14,000 square feet is due to be constructed at the premises.

Twenty six persons including four post-graduate workers are employed in the organisation. In addition, there are about 40 families indirectly dependent on the factory. The activities of the factory are being done in a standard procedure so as to not cause any harm to the environment. This is the only factory in Sri Lanka that has been approved by the CEA for recycling discarded electronic items. We receive about 90 per cent of electronic waste from all over the country for recycling. The waste items are then separated to extract gold, copper, aluminum, iron, plastic and rubber. The extracted substances are sold as raw material to recognised industries. Besides, wood and cardboard separated in the recycling process and all other substances of waste are recycled, thereby helping to ease the garbage problem to a greater extent and also to help prevent any possible danger of accumulation of waste. About 30 tons of discarded electronic items are daily processed in the Homagama recycling factory and it extracts about 20 tons of plastic. We have also extracted one kilo of gold, 40 kilos of silver and 11,000 kilos of carbon. The value of gold extracted alone is $36,000. The CEA has approved our factory as a non-sound polluting industry. Rubber and copper are separated from wires through a machine-operated process and sold to the relevant industries to be used as raw material. We are not involved in collecting waste material, but buying them from agents who collect them from various parts of the island. A certain institute brings 36,000 unserviceable TV sets annually to the factory. There are 153,000 tubes removed from the discarded TV sets in the factory and this shows our contribution to minimize the pollution of the environment.

The Ceylon Management Institute have also planned to initiate the largest electronic items recycling factory in South East Asia in February next year in Katunayake. Unfortunately some are blaming our industry which has been set up not to allow a single drop of water unsafely to the environment. It is a routine practice of our factory to ensure there is no water stagnating on any items within the premises. It is also not vulnerable for breeding of dengue mosquitoes as fumigation is done in every 10 days with the assistance of Homagama Public Health Officers. The blame of threats to some people from the factory is baseless. Despite all these precautionary measures adopted by the factory, some residents had complained to the Kahathuduwa Police that this factory was functioning without the approval of the CEA causing damage to the environment. They also informed the media about these baseless allegations.