Naameh Landfill Closure Deadline Expires, Protesters Stage Sit-in

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The residents of the town of Naameh that lies south of Beirut and nearby areas staged on Friday a sit-in near the landfill after the last truck left the facility following the expiry of the deadline for its closure.

The trucks of Sukleen, which is responsible for collecting and transporting the garbage in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, operated early Friday backed by security forces.

The state-run National News Agency said that the trucks entered the landfill through the support of security forces that were deployed in the area.

But the protesters later erected the tents and staged an open-ended sit-it to prevent garbage trucks from operating in the area.

Ajwad Ayyash from the anti-Naameh landfill campaign told Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) that environmentalists and the area's residents “will never accept compromises.”

The government had set Friday as a deadline for the closure of the landfill. The date also coincides with the expiry of the contract with Sukleen.

Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq called on municipalities to take quick action to dispose of their own waste to avoid a crisis over Naameh.

But said that 600 tons of waste will continue to be sent to the landfill instead of the 3,000 tons of trash it receives daily.

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