Tag Archives: Waste

Is another waste crisis looming?

Image result for costa brava landfill lebanon

Source: Lebanese National News Agency

The two new landfills serving Beirut and Mount Lebanon are still operational despite the various legal challenges they have faced and the risk they posed to the surrounding environment. A few weeks ago, a Lebanese judge reversed a previous ruling to close the Costa Brava landfill, which was made last January. The original ruling was based on the landfill’s proximity to the airport and the potential for short and long term damage to the marine environment. Local media reported that political actors were pressuring the judiciary to reverse the decision, such that it was decided after an emergency meeting that only lasted 5 minutes. Continue reading

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Saida’s disappointing waste management experience

Source: Omar Yashruti/MOE

Last month, a sea turtle was found dead floating in reddish water in the midst of plastic bags and other garbage off the coast of the southern town of Sidon. The source of the solid waste pollution is the IBC Municipal Solid Waste Treatment Center that is located in the southern outskirts of Sidon. Continue reading

The Bourj Hammoud debacle

Image result for bourj hammoud landfill

Source: Executive Magazine

Last month, news emerged of waste being disposed into the sea near the Bourj Hammoud landfill. The Minister of Environment stated that the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) was responsible: “The contract between the contractor and the Council for Development and Reconstruction stipulates that trash from this landfill would be disposed of at sea.” Supposedly, the purpose of this process would be to reclaim land. Continue reading

Are the new landfills already polluting Beirut’s sea?

Image result for aub beach

Source: AUB

Last week, the American University of Beirut warned their faculty and staff not to swim in the AUB beach through an email stating that the “level of bacteria exceeded the acceptable limits for bathing water quality”. A week later, AUB sent out another email stating that the water is now safe for swimming because the “bacteria dropped to acceptable bathing water quality limit.” Continue reading

Is Beirut ready to burn its waste?

Image result for waste incineration beirut

Source: Daily Star

As we approach the second year after the closing of the Naameh Landfill, little progress has been made towards developing and implementing a comprehensive solid waste management plan for Beirut and Mount Lebanon. The plan of the previous Lebanese government, two landfills to replace the Naameh landfill, is on the brink of collapse. The Costa Brava landfill is supposed to be closed next month after a Lebanese court ordered its permanent closure in four months last January. Over the weekend, demonstrators blocked the entrance of the landfill protesting the environmental pollution caused by the landfill. The second landfill in Bourj Hammoud is currently being challenged in court. Last week, the case was adjourned for one month as experts conduct an environmental study of the landfill. Continue reading

Environmental justice makes a rare appearance in Lebanon

Image result for costa brava landfill birds lebanon

Source: Lebanese National News Agency

On January 31st 2017, a Lebanese court ordered the permanent closure of the Costa Brava landfill in four months. The issue was brought to a court by a group of plaintiffs that consisted of lawyers and civilians living near the landfill. The landfill was ordered to be closed to preserve a healthy environment and to protect the safety of the passengers that use the only international airport in the country. Continue reading

More alarming data on health implications of Lebanon’s waste crisis

Image result for trash burning lebanon

Source: Daily Star

The waste crisis that started in July 2015 has still not been fully resolved. In March 2016, eight months after the crisis, the government announced a new solid waste management plan for Beirut and Mount and Lebanon. The government tried to develop more than one solution but eventually agreed on maintaining the same solid waste management principle that created this crisis which is based on landfilling. As explained in a blog post last June, the process of selecting the locations for the proposed landfills was not transparent, lacked basic environmental selection criteria and seemed to be purely dependent on political bargaining. Despite public resistance, two new landfills in Bourj Hammoud and Costa Brava (south of Beirut) are being constructed to receive the bulk of the waste that used to be disposed of in the Naameh landfill. Continue reading