Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. The Naameh landfill is closed again. In my neck of the concrete (there is no need to use the expression “neck of the woods”–images related to forestry are not applicable), the 48 hour opening period made no difference, as my neighborhood’s trash was never collected. After driving around today it actually wasn’t collected in a lot of places all over Beirut and Mt. Lebanon. Either way, the protesters have decided that the dumpsite remain closed until a comprehensive plan is presented to them. 

What I find interesting is that this creates the immediate need for governing bodies to act. For this to happen, cabinet needs to be formed. Who would have thought that environmental protesters would have highlighted the need for government in a few days in a way that other methods have not? I  certainly hope this happens soon, as our streets are becoming more and more polluted by the minute. Furthermore, leaving trash untreated allows for the fast spread of disease. This happens through direct exposure to germs from trash, and through infection by bugs that are attracted to trash. If the trash is left there in the long run, the waste could get into our soil and ground-water, and create soil and water that is no longer fit for human use. 

My fellow Lebanese, I wish I had something good to report lately. All I can say is that we are at rock bottom at this point. No government, no trash collection, no peace, no security…but you know all of this. Given our considerable room for improvement, I can only hope that we will take the hint and not continue our race to the bottom. Let’s hope that this problem–and others–gets solved soon!