Workers at the Ain Ebel landfill sort trash, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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A landfill in a south Lebanon village where illegal practices have forced residents to rally in protest is promising to become a model for environmentally friendly waste management, thanks to an invention developed by a Lebanese professor.A researcher of 41 years in chemistry, Rima developed the mechanism whereby waste is first vaporized inside the machine, leaving behind dry material, which is then heated to 400 degrees Celsius at 10 units of atmospheric pressure and subsequently moved to a "catalytic heat diffuser".In August of 2011, the Ain Ibl Municipality approved the establishment of a landfill meant for three surrounding villages, on the condition that the site would abide by "acceptable environmental standards," but that clause was soon violated.The landfill expanded its operations to include more than 10 villages along with with waste collected from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.Since then, local residents have complained of trash burning, bad odors and solid waste scattered around the landfill. One of the consultants, however, played down the violations, saying the landfill operator was understaffed and that the fermentation machine would improve operations.
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