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A Sample Survey of the Management of Used Beverage Cartons (UBCs) in the City of Colombo.

SEVANATHA’s long-term relationship with Tetra Pak India Pvt. Ltd has provided an opportunity for engaged in conducting a sample survey on UBCs management in the city of Colombo during the end of March 2019. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi executed the study.
The purpose of the survey is to estimate the UBCs Management in terms of recycling rates; i.e. Total MSW generation, physical composition, waste collection and informal sector recovery of waste, particularly UBCs.
Under this study, SEVANATHA has carried out interviews with the following category of people and estimated the UBCs generation and handling of UBCs by each respondents. The research team of SEVANATHA under the supervision of TERI’s Senior Research Fellow had done the following sample survey in Colombo.
 UBCs generators (Juice Bars, Cafeterias and small market places) – (10 nos.)
 Door to door waste collectors/ rag pickers (20 nos.)
 Small scale scrap dealers/Recyclable waste traders (14 nos.)
 Large scale waste dealers (07 nos.)
 Dumpsite Analysis (01 nos.)
 Paper Mill (01 nos.)
The data collection was carried out using a standard questionnaire developed by TERI. The aspects covered included; general information of the respondents, type of waste generators, quantity of waste generated, per month waste generation, UBCs segregation, how the UBCs are disposed, fate of straws, the factors influencing the current UBCs disposal system adopted by the respondents etc.
Through this study it was revealed that, a considerable volume of UBCs are generated in the city. But no one is collecting the UBCs for resource recovery, as there is no buyer or market for the UBCs. Hence, there is a need for initiating a recycling process for UBCs in the country.
Some key findings of UBCs generation related information gathered from different category of respondents deserve conducting of in-depth study on UBCs Management in the Country
 It is found that, small scale UBCs generators counts 15-20 kgs of UBCs per month and large scale generators produce about 55-65 kg per month.
 All the UBCs generated in Colombo at present are disposed in the land fill along with mixed waste.
 It was found that, UBCs are not collected by either small or large scale waste dealers as there is no market for UBCs in the country.
 Most of the small scale waste dealers sell their items such as paper, metal, card board etc. to the large scale waste material dealers operated in Wattala urban area which is located on the northern direction of Colombo city.
 The small scale waste generators and dealers indicated their willingness to collect the UBCs if there is a market for this item.
 Large scale waste dealers stated that, they export paper and card board to India and other countries. The average quantity exported by large scale waste paper dealers is between 400-600 mt. per month.
Our engagement in the UBCs survey in the city of Colombo are shown below

Figure 1: An interview with street sweeper / Figure 2: An interview with cafeteria worker- in a large cafeteria of a private hospital

Figure 5: Data collection from a group of street sweepers/ Figure 6: Weighing of mixed waste sack the during dump site analysis

Figure 4: Segregation of UBCs during the dump site analysis/ Figure 3: Segregated UBCs during the dump site analysis

Figure 8: Waste paper Bale analysis – Small scale waste paper dealer / Figure 7: An interview with a large scale waste paper dealer

Mr. K. A. Jayaratne - President
Sevanatha Urban Resource Centre
102/2, Koswatta Road, Nawala, Rajagiriya
Sri Lanka
Tel : +94 11 2 879 710
Fax : +94 11 2 788 893
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