Jumblat Ready to Accept Waste Bulk but Urges Christian Action

Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat has allegedly expressed readiness to accept the dumping of around 2,000 tons out of 2,500 tons of waste in Dahr al-Baydar in return for stashing the rest of the garbage in the districts of Metn and Kesrouan.

Al-Akhbar daily said Thursday that 3,000 tons of waste are collected from Beirut, its suburbs, and the districts of Shouf, Aley, Baabda, Kesrouan and Metn daily. Sukleen treats around 500 tons while the rest are dumped in landfills.

A member of the waste management committee that has been holding consecutive meetings since the garbage crisis erupted earlier this month, said: “Jumblat guarantees the transfer of waste – around 2,000 tons - from Beirut, its suburbs, and the southern part of Mount Lebanon to Ain Dara.”

“But the Christian parties should assume their responsibilities in guaranteeing a location to dump the remaining 500-ton garbage of Metn and Kesrouan in the two areas,” the source told al-Akhbar.

Trash collection resumed in Beirut over the weekend after an almost week-long crisis that has seen streets overflowing with waste and the air filled with the smell of rotting garbage.

The collection restarted after a temporary deal was found to begin taking trash to several landfills in undisclosed locations.

But the deal led to protests in several areas, where residents refused to accept the waste of Beirut and Mount Lebanon.

The protesters blocked roads in Jiyeh to stop trucks from transporting garbage to Iqlim al-Kharroub and in Dahr al-Baydar, where the residents of Ain Dara have warned against dumping waste in the area's old stone crushing plants.

Meanwhile, in remarks to As Safir daily, Jumblat expressed concern over the fate of the cabinet, saying he is carrying out intense consultations along with Speaker Nabih Berri to prevent the possible collapse of the government.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam's government is the “last safety valve,” which the Lebanese should preserve, he said.

Its collapse would lead to a “reckless adventure” particularly that the presidential elections are not looming on the horizon amid a failure to reach an agreement on a consensual candidate, Jumblat warned.

Recently, there have been rumors that Salam would resign over the failure to bridge differences between the bickering parties and his inability to find a solution to the government's decision-making mechanism and the waste crisis.

The situation worsened when on July 17 the Naameh landfill, which used to receive trash from the capital and Mount Lebanon area, was closed.



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