COLOMBO: keeping its head above the waste!

Wildlife and Nature Protection Society Monthly Lecture- August 2017


Prof Ajith De Alwis

The tragedy at Meethotamulla, on April 14, 2017, has gone down in the annals of the history of solid waste management as the 5th Worst Waste Avalanchein the world! Colombo, like all large urban centres, requires strategies to dispose of the vast amounts of solid waste generated daily by its citizens. The tragic loss of life and property that resulted from the disaster at Meethotamulla has prompted the Government to seek instant answers to this problem particularly as there are many other solid waste ‘mountains’ beginning to rear their ugly tops over the landscape. Current answer for Colombo had been with Muthurajawela. There is a recycling plan associated with the process and it is not intended as another dump though the very nature of the site raises questions.

Colombo, however, has a chance to be different; to execute methods of waste disposal that have been well researched, are efficient, and do not harm the environment. Colombo, and Sri Lanka, has the opportunity to raise its head as an example to others, rather than just allow its waste dumps to grow into towering monsters.

With this in mind, the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society has, as part of its monthly lecture series, decided to bring this important aspect of environmental protection to the public’s awareness, especially for those living in Colombo.

17thAugust, 6pm at the Cinema Hall, BMICH, BauddhalokaMawatha, Colombo 7.

The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society Monthly Lecture is open to all members and non-members, admission free

Prof. Ajith de Alwis

There is, perhaps, none better to discuss these options than Prof. Ajith de Alwis. Prof de Alwis completed his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge. He is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his work.He is a Professor at the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Moratuwa and is also the Director of the University of Moratuwa-Cargills Food Process Development Incubator. He is currently the Project Director of the Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI), Sri Lanka. He also serves as the Chairperson, National Mirror Committee at SLSI on Environmental Management, is a Member of the Advisory committee on Intellectual Property and is a governing board member of the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety. All of this is in addition to numerous other appointments and achievements that demonstrate the depth of knowledge Prof. de Alwis has in this subject.

He has also published many research articles and book chapters in various international and local journals. He is also a regular columnist in the print media on Science, Technology and National Development.

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