Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut, Saturday, April 5, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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A new plan to recycle waste and close down a controversial landfill site in the costal town of Naameh will be presented to the Cabinet this week, Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk told The Daily Star.Machnouk, who plays a key role in a committee headed by Prime Minister Tammam Salam tasked with finding an alternative to the Naameh landfill, said solid waste management was one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the country.For instance, Machnouk said, local industries use 150,000 tons of recycled paper a year and would be eager to purchase still more from the government.Machnouk said the seeping of pesticides into rivers was one of the major environmental hazards facing the country.Machnouk said the quality of the water offered by such providers was not monitored and could be contaminated by pollutants from rivers.On water scarcity, Machnouk said Lebanon was facing a major problem that was reaching emergency level. Machnouk said his ministry would propose an expansion of the number of rain-collecting dams in the country that can store rainwater for situations when water is scarce.
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