Sustainable waste management system introduced by the Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI)
In 2017 ‘Pilisaru’ project initiated by the Central Environmental Authority agreed to collaborate with the University of Colombo to introduce a proper waste management system for the University. As a result of this partnership in addressing a nationally important environmental problem, the University of Colombo established “Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI)” to address the university wide waste management problems. The Pilisaru project of the CEI provides technical and technological support in conducting a waste survey at the University of Colombo in order to identify the waste generation rate and the waste types at the University. A waste survey has been annually conducted by students at the University of Colombo since 2017.
From the first waste survey it was found that the generation of recyclable waste occurred at a higher level, and it was decided that having a waste storage center (for recyclable waste) for the University was a timely need. Understanding the value of such an initiative the CEA provided funds to establish a waste storage center for the University of Colombo. The Waste Storage Center of the University of Colombo was opened for waste storage on December 13, 2019, by the Senior Professor Chandrika N Wijeyaratne, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo and Eng. J.M.U. Indraratne, Deputy Director General/Waste Management of the Central Environmental Authority.
- The University is making strenuous efforts to reduce waste generation. The majority of food waste is sent off to the piggery. Numerous University institutions make compost from their yard waste, which is rapidly increasing. The majority of recyclable non-biodegradable waste gets recycled. Additionally, tree planting initiatives are undertaken to enhance the amount of green cover in order to offset carbon emissions.
- Subject areas such as cleaner production & climate change were included in the curriculum. Certain Programmes were conducted through Career Guidance Units and organizations such as Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) and BEEZ.
- The University of Colombo is a Polythene Free Zone. (The Sunday Times Newspaper article)