Naameh Landfill Back in Spotlight as Closure Deadline Nears

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Lebanon is expected to face an environmental crisis next month when a landfill which lies in the town of Naameh south of Beirut is scheduled to be closed in accordance with a government decision, An Nahar daily reported on Wednesday.

The July 17 deadline for the closure of the Naameh landfill also coincides with the expiry of the contract with Sukleen, which is responsible for collecting and transporting the garbage in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, said the newspaper.

In January, the cabinet decided to delay the closure of the landfill, drawing the ire of the residents of Naameh and environmentalists.

It approved the controversial decision after a long-heated debate regarding the country's plan to treat solid waste.

The cabinet also extended the contract with Sukleen and with Sukomi company that treats the waste transferred to the Burj Hammoud dump by Sukleen and then takes them to Naameh.

A plan devised by Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq decentralizes the management of solid waste, divides Lebanon into six blocks and limits the licensing of garbage collection to one contractor in maximum two blocks.

When the government approved the plan, it also decided that contractors who win tenders would find the location of landfills.

But according to an informed source, the authorities have failed to find a solution to the plan after only three contractors made proposals for the treatment of waste in the districts of Jbeil, Keserouan and Metn and no party made a bid for Beirut.

The bidding process failed because the plan calls for having at least three bidders in each area, the source told An Nahar.

Al-Mashnouq revealed Tuesday that new tenders could not be launched without a cabinet decision. But the government is currently paralyzed as a result of a dispute between the rival parties on the posts of high-ranking military and security officials.

The Naameh landfill was opened in 1997. Last year, the town's residents blocked it and demanded its closure, leaving Beirut overflowing with waste.

Comments 2
Thumb whyaskwhy 17 June 2015, 13:01

thanks to a lean culture and a wonderful government the whole nation is a garbage dump!

Missing peace 17 June 2015, 17:52

politicians just don't want to find solutions to the garbage problem as their goal is to sell it to other countries... so they pretend there are no solutions to justify the future sellings... but there are many solutions but it would not bring them any profits... just wait and see. another proof of the looting of the country by lebanese politicians from ALL sides!