Trash Talk! Lebanese citizens take to social media to denounce ‘River of Trash'

Published February 25th, 2016 - 11:00 GMT
Piles of trash in Jdeideh, north of Beirut. (AFP/Patrick Baz)
Piles of trash in Jdeideh, north of Beirut. (AFP/Patrick Baz)

Social media users vented their anger at the Lebanese authorities on Thursday after CNN mocked what it called Beirut's river of trash in a Mount Lebanon town.

“Congratulations on the new fame! (Lebanon) is the best country in the world,” a woman said on her Facebook account after sharing the video of the CNN report.

“It's nice … We are stinking everywhere! Our smell has become international,” said another man.

“You have disgraced us and disgraced the country,” another angry social media user wrote on his Facebook page.

The river of garbage bags snakes its way through a street in Jdeideh that lies north of Beirut.

The landfill, which stretches for hundreds of meters through the town, is the result of the eight-month-long trash crisis.

“To all our great Lebanese politicians thanks for making international news for all the wrong reasons,” a man wrote on Twitter.

“We made the news, now they are working on the Guinness book record,” another angry citizen tweeted.

Lebanon's waste management crisis erupted in July last year when the country's largest landfill that used to receive the waste of Beirut and Mount Lebanon was closed.

Following the closure of the Naameh landfill, garbage began piling up on the streets of the capital and Mount Lebanon.

Agriculture Minister Akram Shehayyeb, who was in charge of the garbage file, proposed decentralization to resolve the crisis.

His plan was dropped by the government after it approved a scheme to export the waste.

But it turned out that the company, which had been tasked with exporting the trash to Russia, had forged the permits.

Following the scandal, the authorities were left without a plan, with some officials calling for decentralization and allowing municipalities to collect and treat their own waste.

Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) spokeswoman Mona Kalot said there was no backup plan in place.

"We don't have a solution, but they're working on something else," she told CNN.


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