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Lebanon News

Jumblatt vows to close Naameh landfill in 2015

People block a road in Naameh as they protest the landfill, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt pledged Thursday to close the controversial Naameh landfill by 2015 as he asked protesters to end the blockade around Lebanon’s largest waste dump.

“As the environmental situation in the Naameh landfill reached unprecedented levels of environmental risks... we vow to close the landfill once and for all by the end of the extended contract of [Sukleen] in Jan. 17, 2015,” Jumbaltt said in a statement.

Jumblatt said that his National Struggle Front bloc vows to find alternatives to the Naameh landfill that has become overloaded.

Some 100-some activists have been blocking the road leading to the Naameh landfill for several days over what they said were unlivable conditions around the dump.

Blocking the road to the landfill has caused waste to pile up in the metro Beirut area as Sukleen trucks could no longer reach the landfill.

Protesters say the landfill has been filled beyond capacity and is ruining the environment and making residents sick.

Jumblatt said that that he understands the demands of protesters but urged them “to immediately reopen the road because the country is not in need of more trouble especially that major political and security developments are taking place.”

Sukleen is the only company tasked with collecting garbage in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.

 

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