Cars Go Up in Flames as Protesters Continue Burning Waste in Beirut


Two cars went ablaze Monday evening in the Beirut area of Karakol al-Druze and several citizens suffered suffocation after young men set fire to trash dumpsters to protest the accumulation of garbage on the streets, state-run National News Agency reported.

A vehicle from the Beirut Fire Brigade has since arrived at the scene to put out the flames, NNA said.

Angry protesters also blocked roads with burning trash dumpsters in the Salim Salam, Beshara al-Khoury and Mar Elias districts.

Outside Beirut, a number of young men tried to block the eastern lane of the vital Damour highway with burning tires before being dispersed several times by security forces, NNA said.

The key highway connects the capital Beirut to the South governorate.

Earlier in the day, protesters reopened the coastal highway in the Jiyeh area after receiving pledges from officials that no garbage trucks would be sent to the Iqlim al-Kharroub region.

Several demonstrators and policemen were wounded in the morning during an attempt by security forces to reopen the highway by force.

Health Minister Wael Abou Faour had urged citizens earlier on Monday not to burn the accumulating garbage, citing several health hazards.

Trash collection had partially resumed in Beirut on Sunday but several streets are still overflowing with waste and the air is 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.

The crisis started after residents living near the Naameh landfill, the country's largest dumpsite, shut it down.

The government pledged last year that Naameh landfill would be closed on July 17 and an alternative site be found.

But the date came and went with no solution found and residents began blocking the route to the site in the mountains outside Beirut.

Initially, Beirut's trash collector, the Sukleen firm, stored waste at its facilities, but by July 20 they were at capacity and garbage began piling up in the streets.

Experts have urged Lebanon's government to devise a comprehensive waste management solution that would include more recycling and composting to reduce the amount of trash going into landfills.


Comments 2
Thumb -phoenix1 28 July 2015, 15:05

If only these fools knew what they were breathing, poor Lebanese, his very own worst enemy now.

Default-user-icon Jonny (Guest) 28 July 2015, 16:25

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