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Management of Municipal Solid Waste in Sri Lanka: A Comparative Appraisal of the Economics of Composting

Authors:

T. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan ,

University of Colombo, LK
About T. Lalithasiri
Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics
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W. Neluka Gunasekara

Institute of Policy Studies, LK
About W. Neluka
Research Assistant
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Abstract

Sri Lanka, a developing nation, is facing a severe problem of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management, the currently adopted predominant method being open dumping due mainly to low cost and less processing involved. This practice is hazardous, and causes significant negative externalities to society and to the economy. In contrast, composting is considered to be one of the most technically appropriate methods of managing MSW in Sri Lanka, the composition of waste being predominantly organic. Though a few local authorities are engaged in composting but no comprehensive economic feasibility study has been carried out which is the knowledge gap that this paper attempts to address. The study examined the economics of MSW management through composting in Sri Lanka by examining various models proposed and implemented. Further, the Pilisaru prescription and what has been implemented by a few local authorities were analysed using benefit-cost appraisal methodology, with particular reference to the management model adopted by the Weligama Urban Council. The study reveals that composting as a MSW management method would be economically viable. It also signifies that based on comparative investment and operating cost levels in other composting experiments in Sri Lanka, even achieving financial viability would be possible, if a compost management model with improved investment productivity is developed.
How to Cite: Gunaruwan, T. L., & Gunasekara, W. N. (2016). Management of Municipal Solid Waste in Sri Lanka: A Comparative Appraisal of the Economics of Composting. NSBM Journal of Management, 2(1), 27–45. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/nsbmjm.v2i1.19
Published on 16 Nov 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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