Nearly 4,000 mt of edible food dumped daily in Colombo

by Upali de Saram

Around 3,963 tonnes of edible food is dumped daily in Sri Lanka as waste owing to negligence of people, reveals a survey conducted by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN.

The survey has also found that approximately 353 tonnes of food waste were daily generated within the Colombo Municipal Council area.

Accordingly, around 100,000 tonnes of food that could have been eaten are dumped in the waste bins monthly, the survey has found.

Sri Lanka generates 7,000 tonnes of solid waste per day, out of which 65 – 66 percent (by weight) consists of perishable organic material.

The FAO and IWMI have analysed data gathered from three major waste disposal centres in the Colombo region – Kerawalapitiya, Karadiyana and Kaduwela.

The total daily solid waste generated in the Colombo Municipal Council area was 706 tonnes of which 50 per cent, approximately 353 tonnes, was food waste.

In a bid to address the urban food waste challenge in Sri Lanka, a National Road Map on Urban Food Waste Prevention and Reduction for Households, Food services, Retailers, and Wholesalers was prepared by FAO of the UN for the Ministry of Environment. It maps out an evidence-based strategy and vision to effectively tackle the country’s urban food waste. The National Road map is based on new evidence generated by the project and past research.

The FAO provided funding and technical assistance to formulate the National Road Map through an FAO Technical Cooperation Project launched in June 2019 and implemented in partnership with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

The Road Map to Urban Food Waste Prevention and Reduction in Households, Food Services, Retailers and Wholesalers was launched in Colombo under the patronage of the Secretary to the Ministry of Environment Dr Anil Jasinghe and Vimlendra Sharan, FAO Representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

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