Watch Meethotamulla rubbish mountain grow: aerial view time lapse

This aerial view lapse video shows how the Meethotamulla rubbish mountain grew over time. It looks like the spread of a malignant growth.

Here’s the video for the impatient.:

It went from this in 2004:
Meethotamulla rubbish mountain 2004

to this in February 2017:
Meethotamulla rubbish mountain Feb 2017

I put this video together using screen grabs from Google Earth. Which has a large batch of historical satellite image from 2004 to 2017 of that area.

For more coverage and background check out the excellent reporting on Meethotamulla done by who are NOT paying me for the link.


14 thoughts on “Watch Meethotamulla rubbish mountain grow: aerial view time lapse

      1. That tool is amazing! Thanks for the pointer.

        Watched a timelapse of Samanala Wewa explode out of nonexistence, Colombo port’s expansion, the highways being built, and all the greenery around Hambantota disappear in the last 10 years.


      2. Also, RE: Google Earth (I’m using the downloadable Pro version, not the Chrome-based one): There is an option to animate the timelapse in the settings cog, but it’s greyed out for me (perhaps because I’m on Linux).

        Is it the same for you?


      3. I think for the pro version you have to pay which unlocks those features. I use the free downloadable version on OSX though I think Inness to update to the latest version.

        I guess you could check out the Google Earth related APIs but that’s a big time commit 🙄


  1. Also can you check and point where Colombo garbage is now dumped at in muthurajawela. I think all toxic, clinical waste also dumped there and Muthurajawela being a watery area those waste will soon absorbed to all water sources. Major disaster is looming. If we can map the place and waterways we can identify the damage it is going to cause…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was going to write about this – and I still might…? I find this appalling, although rubbish dumps are an occurrence around the globe the sheer proximity of this one to people’s homes is what is truly distressing. There is a town in Australia (where I’m from) called Hume, which also houses a huge rubbish dump (huge by Australian terms – so not anywhere near as big as the one in Meethotamulla) where residents are lobbying the government due to the odour being carried on the breeze. But here’s the thing, in a world where consumerism rules all, no amount of lobbying will help. What we really need is to ban all non-recyclables and reduce our consumption of plastics – does everything need to be double wrapped in plastic? What happened to the glass milk bottles? Why do we insist on buying a new plastic bottle every time we want a drink of water? It is so obvious to me that it is our consumer driven culture that needs to change, and thus so frustrating to see the same people who consume and throw away plastics that complain about rubbish!

    (Sorry for the rant – probably will turn this comment into a blog post after all)


    1. don’t disagree with you.
      The dirty fact of governance/politics in Sri Lanka is that it’s a form of organised crime.
      The colonials repurposed a feudal ruling system for looting/exploring the island (standard colonial practice). The feudal system was after all aimed at surviving the needs of the ruler.
      That continues in “modern” trappings. The aim of “policy” is to justify in flimsy terms the distribution of patronage with political patron/client networks.
      I don’t see this changing via politics. It requires a widespread change of consciousness focused on accountability and being forthright. Both of which are poisons in a feudal culture. Where rank and face are everything.
      It’s a big topic to cover in a comment let alone via books.


  3. Can you believe it there is a garbage mountain in Ella, just outside the town. Absolutely horrible, the hill country rape continues apace. Can you try and pics of that one?


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