5 simple steps to recycling

header Recycling in Hikkaduwa.jpg

There is a growing interest in ECO-friendly solutions and green living in Sri Lanka at the moment. Many residents in our area have a desire to reduce their waste and contribute to recycling. Unfortunately, the information on how to do so, is not easily accessible, especially to people who do not speak and read Sinhala. 

Hikkaduwa beach.jpg

Photo of Hikkaduwa, Thiranagama. This photo shows the beauty of our beach town, and it is important to keep it clean!


Step 1: Separate your garbage

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The most important things to separate are GLASS, PLASTIC and PAPER. These items are picked up by the normal collection- tractor and they are sold to recycling companies. Giving it away in separated boxes ensures that it is all recycled and does not end up in landfills.

To help you get started, we made these boards with English and Sinhala text so that your family, guests and the garbage-collectors can easily see the different types of waste you are separating. You can print the images below in the size you prefer.


Step 2: Make Compost

Make Compost.jpg

Turn food waste into valuable soil! Composting is one of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of waste your family produces.

  • Build your own compost bin or buy a green one shown in the image above from Arpico (4,000 LKR).
  • Put food waste like rice, bread and vegetables in every day.
  • Add leaves, dead flowers and other garden waste every week.
  • After 1-2 months open the hatch and take out the compost. Mix it with soil and use it to plant flowers or grow vegetables. 
  • Do not add meat and bones to the compost!

Step 3: Reduce residual waste

Hopefully, after composting food waste and separating plastic, paper and glass, there should not be much waste left. This residual waste will most likely end up in landfills so try to reduce as much as you can. 

The first, and most important step in this process is of course to BUY LESS!

However, from time to time there are things that we need to get rid of. And then it would be nice to give it away to your friends or neighbours. You can also donate clothes, books and other things to the NewUse shop. We are also happy to accept broken/torn clothes and fabrics, as we use the materials to make products.  Check out our updated opening hours on our Facebook-page.

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Suggestions on REUSING and REDUCING will be the subject of another blog post. 


Step 4: Delivery for recycling


The Urban Council in Hikkaduwa is responsible for collecting the garbage. As the situation is now (March 2018) it is working out OK in our area, at least much better than many other parts of Sri Lanka. Still it is not perfect, and we are hoping the service will improve.

In the main road - Galle Road - garbage is collected every morning except full moon days and public holidays.

Pinkanda Road:   Tuesdays and Fridays. 

Thiranagama to Pinkanda Road: Tuesday and Saturday

Lenawatta: Thursday

The situation on other roads in the area is less clear. Please give us input if you have more details. 

  • Make sure you put your bins and containers out in the street from 07:00 in the morning to make sure it will be collected. 
  • No need to use new, fancy bins (they might be stolen from the street). 
  • The paper, plastic and glass bottles can be delivered in open bins. No need to wrap it in plastic. 
  • The garbage collectors seperate plastic, paper and glass on the truck. 
  • The Urban Council sells plastic, paper and glass to large recycling companies in Colombo. These companies collect from Hikkaduwa once a week. 
  • The garbage collection service is free. However, it is common practice for residents to make a small payment to the collectors. If you are living a bit off the main road, a small monthly payment, will help to get the garbage collected (200 LKR). Especially before New Year you should give a small tip. After all, these people are doing a very important job here in Hikkaduwa.


BATTERIES can be delivered to the Post Office in Hikkaduwa!

Glass bottles (beer, soft drinks etc) can be returned to the shop where you bought them. You will get the deposit you paid back. 


If you live in the Thalpe, Galle and Unawatuna area, please contact THALPE RECYCLING CENTRE for information on their recycling services.  

Get more ideas from the Facebook group: Sri Lanka Cleaning and Recycling Program


Step 5: Spread the word and ACT!

Reducing your waste and separating garbage ready for recycling are the most important things you can do. What a difference it would make if all households and hotels did the same!

So, let´s start the change today.

The first step towards change is to create awareness by sharing this information and talking to other people.  

We are all part of the problem and we must all be part of the solution. Besides separating garbage at home, collect plastic from the beach whenever you visit. Bring it home and give it to to the garbage collectors the following morning.  You are also welcome to join our monthly beach clean-up. 

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Reduce, reuse and recycle

This is the information we have on recycling in the Hikkaduwa-area right now. In upcoming blog posts, we will share ideas for REDUCING and REUSING. Stay tuned!


Let´s help each other to spread the word!

NewUse want to do what we can to share information about this subject. Please contribute with information that you have and we will keep this guide updated. Leave your comment to this blog. 

Please share it with your friends living in Sri Lanka, and ask for input. 




An update on "the Family by the river"


We are sorry that is has taken us long to give this family better living conditions. But we continue our work in the NewUse shop here in Hikkaduwa to raise money for building a new house. Please buy clothes and ECO friendly products in our shop, if you are in the area! The shop is open from 12:00 to 20:00 every day exept Tuesdays (14:30-20:00) and Sundays and Holidays (closed).

People are also generously donating money to this project.

At the moment we have a total of LKR 700.392 

We were hoping to raise LKR 1.000.000 before we start building, to make sure we have enough to complete the house, including the bathroom and electricity. If you want to help us you can donate to Newuse through PayPal or Vipps: #86985.

We are planning to start build their house in July this year, and will keep posting about the progress. 




Donation to The family by the river

Thanks to these lovely children in Sandefjord selling second hand toys and Norwegian waffels to collect money to "The family by the river".  They Vippsed the 710,- NOK (84 USD) to  #86985 NewUse Forening. 



High Season is ending in Hikkaduwa

Newuse reuse Hikkaudwa

After Singhalese NewYear and Easter, Hikkaduwa is really starting to slow down. It´s time to start to look back on our first season of running the NewUse shop, and it´s been such an amazing experience. The shop has been a success almost from day one, and a lot of new customers everyday. Not to mention over valued regulars, some people come in on a weekly basis to check what is new in  :) 

Within this very first season, the shop is already making a good profit (more details on the numbers later, after audit is finalised), and we have reached our goal to be a self sustainable organisation. That is great! We have also gained a lot of experience and contacts to make the upcoming season even better. There will be new products, new ideas and a continueing effort to share all that is good about recycling and reusing. As you all know, 100% of the shop profits and cash donations are used for charity projects, so this will do good in a lot of ways. 

More details will follow, but for now I just wanted to say thank you to the two girls in charge for the daily work at the shop: Nikeshala (to the left in the picture) and Keshala (to the right). You girls are doing an excellent job!  And also Anne Nystad, that helped us out for a month in April. The ones following New Use in Facebook, have seen posts and updates from her as well. Thank you :) 

We are also planning to keep the shop open all summer. So if you visit Hikkaduwa over the next months, please come visit! The opening hours will be like this: 

NewUse opening hours


- Merete - NewUse



Takk til Guri og tredjeklassingene ved Haraldreina Skole!

Innsamling veldedighet Sri Lanka Hikkaduwa

Sometimes we are totally blown away, by all the support we get from people all of the world. A couple of months ago, we received a mail from Guri Berg Benjaminsen from Stjørdal in Norway. She was going to Sri Lanka together with her family in February, and wanted to support our organization. Guri works as a teacher, and involved her class in this. The third graders at "Haraldreina Scool" have learned about Sri Lanka´s geography, culture and history, and were also introduced, (by pictures and videos) to New Use and "the family by the river". The children in Guri´s class, did collect more than 300 clothes and shoes, that Guri brought over to our shop in Hikkaduwa. From the income of these donations, New Use are building a house to the family.

The children in Norway had also made a book of drawings for the daughter, which Guri handed over to her, together with some coloring books and pencils. The family really appreciated the visit from Norway, and when they heard that Guri was a teacher they proudly showed her their daughters school works. D started coloring in the books right away, and was so happy for the gifts. They wanted me to say "thank you" to all the class and their families that are supporting them!

Below: screenshot to an article from their local newspaper - LINK.

Haraldreina skole innsamling NewUse Hikkaduwa