Garbage Crisis Looms as Road to Naameh Landfill Blocked Anewإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Protesters again blocked the road leading to the Naameh landfill on Tuesday after a 48-hour deadline they had given for the closure of the controversial facility ended at 6:00 p.m.
“Demonstrators are rallying in the middle of the road at the landfill's entrance, raising banners and shouting slogans calling for the closure of the landfill,” state-run National News Agency reported.
“Most of the protesters are wearing medical masks to protect themselves from pollution,” NNA said.
It noted that a meeting was held by the protesters' follow-up committee, after which it decided to carry on with the open-ended sit-in.
The road had been reopened on Sunday evening, following negotiations with Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam. A 48-hour deadline was given.
The landfill's closure had forced the Sukleen company to suspend the collection of waste in Beirut and its suburbs for three days, the thing that created huge piles of garbage in the streets.
The campaign pushing for the landfill's shuttering has described the facility as a “dangerous and lethal environmental problem.”
The delegation that met with Salam comprised representatives of municipalities in the region, the Lebanon Eco Movement and environmentalist activists. They briefed the PM-designate on “the health risks posed by the Naameh landfill and suggested a number of solutions,” NNA said on Sunday.
“They urged the PM-designate to include the problem of the landfill and their demands in the ministerial policy statement of the new cabinet,” NNA said.
The delegation called on Salam to find a “drastic solution aimed at closing the Naameh landfill through the efforts of the relevant officials and ministries.”
For his part, Salam held a series of contacts during the meeting with a number of officials and explained to them the demands of the municipalities.
He reassured the delegation that he would create an emergency committee to address the issue once he forms the new cabinet.
A Sukleen statement had noted that the Council for Development and Reconstruction and other relevant authorities were looking into alternative solutions to the problem, pointing out that finding a new landfill was “the Lebanese state's responsibility, not the company's.”
The statement assured, however, that street sweepers would continue cleaning streets and that pesticides would be sprayed.
Sukleen is the only company tasked with collecting garbage in the governorates of Beirut and Mount Lebanon.