Back to the drawing board: Lebanon mulls new landfills plan

Published February 21st, 2016 - 05:00 GMT
Lebanon's environmentalists have long argued against the export of the country's waste for ethical reasons. (AFP/Joseph Eid)
Lebanon's environmentalists have long argued against the export of the country's waste for ethical reasons. (AFP/Joseph Eid)

The ministerial committee tasked with following up on the months long trash management file kicked off a meeting at the Grand Serail on Saturday after the export plan failed to rid the country of its piling garbage.

"Discussions are to focus on reviving the plan to establish landfills in several areas in Lebanon," Education Minister Elias Abou Saab said before he joined the interlocutors.

“We will go back to the plan that was set before, and everyone must become convinced of the role of the municipalities and the necessity to supply them with the necessary funds.”

Minister Nabil De Freije stated: “We are back to the solution of establishing landfills.”

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq told LBCI: "We will specify the locations of the landfills before we ask for legal support."

The committee's meeting ended at noon and another session was scheduled for Monday.

A plan to export Lebanon's garbage has been abandoned early this week when a scandal broke out revealing that Britain’s Chinook Urban Mining company, which was selected by the government in December to manage the export scheme, may have fabricated its permits.

The ministerial committee headed by Prime Minister Tammam Salam is said to discuss the areas where landfills would be established to receive the trash of Beirut and Mount Lebanon.

The trash crisis erupted in July 2015 when the Naameh landfill, which opened in 1997 in a verdant valley outside Beirut, was closed.

Garbage quickly piled up on Beirut and Mount Lebanon streets and municipalities dumped the trash in forests, on riverbanks and populated areas.

Agriculture Minister Akram Shehayyeb drew a plan to rely on sanitary landfills but the government abandoned it in November after municipalities and local officials refused to accommodate more landfilling.

 

 

 

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