Jul 28 2015 - 01:07

Lebanon Cabinet Defers Cabinet Session In Light Of Protest Denouncing Draconian Waste "Solution"

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Lebanon Cabinet Defers Cabinet Session In Light Of Protest Denouncing Draconian Waste "Solution"
Lebanon News

At a time when Lebanese citizens are finally coming to terms with their own sense of responsibility for the waste crisis crippling the nation, and just as activists vowed not to let this issue slide, the Lebanese government announced a solution for the waste management crisis -in the dead of night- lest citizens realize the gravity of the situation at hand and the prompt need for sustainable, eco-friendly solutions. 

At approximately 11 pm Monday, Environment Minister Mohammad Mashnouq stated that a temporary solution was reached to "end Lebanon’s waste crisis," pointing out that  waste management company, Sukleen, will resume the collection of rotting trash piled up in the streets of Beirut and Mount Lebanon but not Jbeil.

Following a meeting for a ministerial committee tasked with discussing this issue, Minister Mashnouq noted that the committee had agreed on the balanced distribution of garbage in Beirut and Mount Lebanon to newly established landfills.

Mashnouq also said that the committee, chaired by Prime Minister Tammam Salam, had approved financial incentives for municipalities where new landfills will be allocated, adding that it will continue its discussions today (Tuesday) at 4 pm.

In the wake of the emergence of this agreement, Sukleen waste collectors began removing garbage from the streets of Beirut.

This video was shot by undercover activists who tracked the covert activities throughout the night. 

تهريب النفايات ليلاً... فاسدون!!!

وأخيراً بالجرم المشهود، بعد مطاردة استمرت طوال الليل، تمكنا أخيراً من معرفة المكان الذي هربت اليه نفايات الأشرفية، تم رميها في مواقف الباصات القديمة في سن الفيل، وفي موقف في فرن الشباك وفي مجرى نهر بيروت!!!! هذا هو الحل الذي اعلن عنه وزير البيئة؟؟ الفاسدون يقتلوننا.. لا تخدعكم الحلول الوهمية، الأزمة لم تحل، الى الشارع!!!يسقط يسقط حكم الأزعر ... #طلعت_ريحتكم

Posted by ‎طلعت ريحتكم‎ on Monday, July 27, 2015

Civil society activists described the solution and method of collection as arbitrary and draconian, voicing their rejection to the agreement reached by the ministerial committee. A protest was held in Beirut's Riad El-Soleh’s Square to denounce the government's failure to resolve the pressing waste issue, in a sustainable, eco-friendly manner as the latter was set to held a cabinet session -which was deferred due to unknown reasons. 

Lebanon has been grappling with a waste crisis following the July 17 closure of the Naameh landfill.

The cabinet pledged last year that the said landfill would be shut down and an alternative site would be found, however failed to live up to its promises.

The piles of garbage rotting in the summer heat triggered nationwide outrage and serious health warnings.

To get rid of waste, frustrated residents set fire to dumpsters and trash containers, further polluting the hot and humid air.

The mess is a stark reminder of the cabinet crisis afflicting Lebanon, where politicians divided by local and regional crises have even failed to agree on where to dump the capital city's rubbish.

The government voted Thursday (July 23) to postpone the decision until today; however, Prime Minister Tammam Salam rescheduled the cabinet session for Thursday, July 29, at 10 am.

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