Protestors from the #YouReek campaign demonstrate in downtown Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Azakir)
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Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt defended Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk one day after thousands of protesters lambasted the government's handling of the trash crisis over the weekend, calling on the minister to resign. But Jumblatt said Sunday that Machnouk was not to blame. Thousands of protesters gathered together in Downtown Beirut, calling for Machnouk to resign because of his inability to find a sustainable solution to Lebanon's garbage crisis.The landfill was opened as a temporary solution to a 1997 crisis.Environmental expert Paul Abi Rashed addressed the crowd, claiming that if trash sorting were adopted by Lebanese households, there would be no garbage crisis at all.He said that the fact that Beirut's two waste treatment facilities can only process 2,250 tons per day is not a legitimate excuse for the government to rely on landfills. Jumblatt said Sunday that even if another company is chosen to manage the waste, it will take 16 months to remove the garbage piled up in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.Machnouk said Friday that three private consortiums have offered eligible bids to manage Beirut's waste, raising the possibility that waste management in Beirut and Mount Lebanon could return to normal in the next six months.
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