Arthacharya Foundation has been the leader in the field of participatory waste management in urban areas of the country during the last 17 years. Based on the experience gained in Galle, Habaraduwa, Hikkaduwa, Negombo, Moratuwa, Dehiwala and Mount Lavinia, Ratnapura, Matara and Tangalle Arthacharya was able to develop a participatory model for waste management involving the communities, local authorities, relevant government institutions such as DS offices, schools, hospitals and markets etc, and the private sector. ADG, an NGO in Belgium invited Arthacharya Foundation in 2007 to implement a post tsunami participatory waste management programme in Kalutara, Ambalangoda, Weligama, Matara and Tangalle to further refine the model that AF had developed. The project which covered a arget group of 10,000 families in five towns achieved all its targets in time, was funded by the European Union.
Among the activities carried out were waste audits, waste management training, composting training, waste collection, by CBO s formed, waste transport, waste storage, waste sales and waste recycling in the factory built in Matara with the land made available by Matara MC. Besides, project involved the communities to grow home gardens using the compost they made while the surplus compost was sold.
Women were also trained to produce handicrafts using plastic and polythene waste material. An important intervention made by the project was to develop a waste business group which would function between the community level waste collectors and the larger waste dealers in towns.
These newcomers who function quite well were offered credit facilities from the microfinance programme in addition to the training they had. The project developed a large number of best practices and had many a success story that could be used in replicating the model at other locations. Among the outputs of the project are the eleven publicationsmade in Sinhala and Tamil on participatory waste anagement.