Tag Archive: garbage


Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Today was an interesting day in Beirut, filled with protesters, eggs, garbage, negotiations, and more. It appears as though finally, our leaders have put forth a proposal, which is to allow garbage collection to be the decision of the municipality.

While this is done in many countries and tends to be more effective, this does not solve our political crisis–it shifts the problem on another governmental apparatus! Moreover, do our existing municipalities have the facilities to process garbage effectively? If not, will the government help them secure these resources? Is anyone willing to answer these questions?

These leaders have been eating away at our governmental apparatus for their own gains, and the disease of corruption in our government could not be more clear. Now is the time for accountability, for functional government, for respect for law, and to have a country that we deserve. It is also time for us to stop willingly agreeing to function within such a corrupt apparatus–we need to have these values ourselves. It is up to us, Lebanon.

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Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. If you are following our political programs, then you know that on January 17th, 2015, the council of ministers is set to meet. One of the many items set on their agenda is to discuss what to do with the Naameh Landfill.

In response to the activism coming from those living by the area, the Naameh landfill was supposed to be shut down last year. The understanding was that a new landfill would be opened in its place. Owing to the dynamics of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), the council did not make a decision as to where the new landfill would be, and delayed shutting down the Naameh landfill for a year. Now, the time to make a decision as to what to do has come again.

According to Minister of Health Wael Abou Faour, garbage will be spread in the streets on January 17th in order to pressure the council of ministers to take action, as opposed to postponing the decision yet again.

I cannot help but wonder though, why the idea is to simply create more landfills. Why not use waste management plants? Believe it or not, we actually have a number of such plants which are built, but not operational. Why not put our resources not only in diverting the trash away from Naameh, but also to processing our trash more responsibly in facilities which we have already built?

In any case, we are about to see environmental political protest in every sense of the word. Let us hope that this gets resolved soon.

Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Did any of you see the environmental awareness commercial on the news last night? The one referring to dumping garbage in various places across Lebanon? Well, I would like to discuss one in particular…the tragedy of a dumpsite in Saida. 

In the early 1980s,  a beach-side garbage deposit site was created in Saida. It was always in the open air, and never rehabilitated. In 2008 the garbage mountain on the site was 50 meters high and 375 long. Its contents are an array of household waste, construction residue, industrial and agricultural waste and waste from butchers and hospitals. Do you want to know what it looks like now? Here it is :

 

This is beyond unhealthy. Much of this waste, particularly industrial, agricultural, and hospital waste, is especially toxic. To make matters worse, there is a steady south-west wind which blows the gases which have built up on the garbage mountain towards Saida on a regular basis. As such, the people of Saida are exposed to toxins both in the air and in the sea. Indeed, By February 2008, 150 tons of garbage fell into the ocean as a result of an earthquake. This effects the eco-systems in our sea, the marine life, and puts our animals in danger. Also, it effects our ability to enjoy the sea, and enjoy seafood. Tell me, do you feel comfortable eating fish that have been swimming in 150 tons of garbage?

I didn’t think so.

Nor is it exclusively bad for our health or that of the sea. These emissions go into the air and contribute to global warming.

Where there once was a beautiful beach is now covered with plastic bottles, plastic bags, and other garbage. Even the dustmen, who are supposed to clean trash on the sidwalk, throw the contents of their collection on this dumpsite!  The smell is over-powering; you can already smell it before you see it.  The dump was officially shut down in early 2011, but the site has not been rehabilitated. The people of Saida were promised a solid waste treatment facility, but it is not yet operational. For more on this story, please follow this link: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Apr/09/Sidon-residents-dump-garbage-on-streets.ashx#axzz1Tm2tuEbx

 
 My fellow Lebanese, do we not deserve better than this? People of Saida, do you in particular not deserve better than this? This dump needs to be rehabilitated immediately. The garbage needs to be cleared, sorted, and treated. Some of it can be recycled, some of it not, but it is a health and environmental hazard. The solid waste plant needs to become operational immediately. If we push hard for the Ministry of Environment and the responsible municipality to act, hand in hand with environmental NGOs, and contribute to the clean up ourselves, we can do it. It might not be fun to clean up garbage, but tell me, isn’t it better than living in it? Lebanon, we deserve better than this. Our COUNTRY, our beloved nation, deserves better than this. We can do it!!