The “Garbage Mountain” in Saida is infamous for decades of environmental pollution in the city and along the coast. It has been used as a dump for the Saida’s 250,000 residents for over 40 years.
Fortunately, last year, the Saida Municipality, Ministry of Environment, and UNDP joined forces to embark on a project that will solve this menacing problem by burying the garbage in a sanitary landfill and reclaiming the land to build a 35,000 square meter public park, greened hilltop, and a breakwater to prevent future waste dumping in the sea. This week, the Mayor of Saida announced that 70% of the trash has already been removed.
Solid waste is a major environmental problem in all of Lebanon, not only in Saida. The lack of proper waste disposal sites and recycling plants has caused severe pollution and nuisance issues throughout the country. A few months ago, residents of Naameh held demonstrations demanding the closure of the overloaded Naameh landfill near their homes and prevented waste disposal trucks from reaching the dump site. The government has promised to close the Naameh waste site by the beginning of 2015; however, a solution and alternative site have yet to be determined.