Monthly Archives: January 2015

The disaster that is the Karantina Slaughterhouse

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Source: The Daily Star

The largest slaughterhouse in Lebanon was recently shut down by the Ministry of Public Health. Located in the capital Beirut, the Karantina slaughterhouse is no stranger to controversy. It had been subject to an international campaign by Compassion in World Farming who reported horrific treatment of animals at the facility only two years ago. However, the Karantina slaughterhouse was not closed for animal welfare reasons. According to the Minister of Public Health, the slaughterhouse did not meet the minimum health requirements and used contaminated water to clean the meat it was producing. The minister also ordered other slaughterhouses to be closed: three in the south and one in Tripoli. The closure of these slaughterhouses and some restaurants over the past few months shed light on the importance of consumer rights and safety in Lebanon. Continue reading

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Lebanon’s solid waste plan: too little, too late?

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Source: Al Akhbar

On Monday, the Lebanese Cabinet approved a three month extension of the Na’ameh landfill, renewable for an additional three months, and the extension of two contracts for private companies managing solid waste. The first company is Sukleen who is responsible for sweeping and cleaning the streets of Beirut and Mount Lebanon and transferring the waste to a treatment center in Burj Hammoud. The second company, Sukomi, treats the waste and transfers it to the Na’ameh landfill. The cabinet approval comes 5 days before the government set deadline for the closure of the landfill; it became evident in the months leading up to the deadline that there were sharp divisions and the government would not be able to close the landfill. Continue reading

Lebanon’s toxic history

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National Geographic

On Monday, custom officials confiscated radioactive material at the Beirut port. The officials found “industrial and kitchen goods that contain dangerous radioactive material [that threaten] public health.” Lebanon also has a history for receiving toxic waste from developed countries. During the civil war foreign companies paid Lebanese militia leaders to dispose of various types of industrial waste in the country. Between 1987 and 1988, an Italian firm allegedly dumped 2,400 tons of chemical waste on Lebanese soils. In 1988, barrels of hazardous waste were discovered on the Keserwan shore and off the coast of Tyre, and 2,411 tons of waste was discovered in East Beirut. Even after the civil war Lebanon was still receiving this toxic waste. In 1996, Greenpeace helped uncover German, Russian, and Lebanese traders that were involved in of illegally shipping 36 containers full of 680 tons of plastic, chemical and outdated medical waste. These practices caused a lot of controversy and in 1995 two Lebanese men were charged with illegally importing 24,000 tons of industrial waste during the civil war. Continue reading