In commemoration of Global Recycling Day, a comprehensive Material Recovery Facility (MRF) titled ‘Negombo Recycling Club’ (NRC) was launched, in the presence of chief guest Dr. Anil Jasinghe – Secretary to the Ministry of Environment.
This MRF was funded and supported by Coca-Cola’s philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF), and Eco Spindles, one of Sri Lanka’s largest plastic recyclers. It was implemented by Janathakshan (GTE) Ltd., a non-profit organization that is renowned for its work in circular economy and low carbon development on the island.
The NRC aims to increase the collection and recycling of waste, including PET plastics, by strengthening the recyclable waste collection system in Negombo, predominantly through capacitating informal collectors.
Hailed as both a prime commercial hub and one of the most popular tourist destinations within the Western Province, Negombo attracts both local and global visitors. However, irresponsible waste disposal and a lack of good waste management processes have led to valuable resources being discarded in the environment.
Addressing the issue, NRC will extract recyclables from a vast inflow of waste and implement a value-additional process of bailing and crushing waste prior to it being sent to recyclers.
Converting waste into compact bales and granules gains a higher income for NRC from recyclers such as Eco Spindles, allowing the MRF to pay almost double the usual rate to their informal collector network, incentivizing them to collect more. Notably, NRC also acts as a ‘buy-back’ center, enabling local communities to sell their recyclable waste directly to the MRF.
“I commend The Coca-Cola Foundation, Janathakshan, Negombo Recycling Club, and Eco Spindles for taking the initiative to strengthen waste management in Negombo and surrounding areas. The industry must take an active role in this endeavor. MRFs like this are effective solutions to the issue of waste collection and recycling in Sri Lanka. We have to take such steps to strengthen existing waste collection networks and the entire value chain and ensure that recyclable plastic waste is effectively segregated and given a new life.” – Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Environment. Prasantha Malimbadage, CEO of Recycling of Eco Spindles added, “We are happy to have been a part of this journey in the establishment of NRC, through infrastructure support and identifying the correct individuals who will be managing the MRF. Eco Spindles is one of the only two facilities in Asia which has the technology to convert PET plastic waste directly into yarn, and we are proud to play our extended role in this initiative by manufacturing value-added recycled items that will be sold locally and internationally. This includes yarn for garments and bristles for brushes and brooms. Having launched the first two comprehensive MRFs in Sri Lanka together with Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka, we are happy to be expanding this model to a wider network of MRFs across the country through this project.”