A pile of garbage lies on the bank of the Beirut River as polluted water flows past and into the Mediterranean Sea, in Karantina, east Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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A resolution to the national garbage crisis remained distant Monday, as hopes to export the capital's trash dissipated and sources said Cabinet ministers would need another day to award the long-awaited waste management contracts. In the north, Akkar MPs urged optimists to recalibrate their expectations after a report emerged Monday that talks were underway to dispose Beirut's trash in their governorate. Even if the committee awards contracts this week, Beirut and Mount Lebanon residents will still have to wait another six months for normal garbage services to resume, the Environment Ministry has previously said.Health Minister Wael Abu Faour said Monday, though, that such a solution would be "unfeasible".Abu Faour warned the country was headed for a "major health catastrophe" if the Cabinet does not take "drastic measures" to resolve the trash crisis.Al-Akhbar reported Monday that Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk met with Akkar mayors to transfer Beirut trash to the north, as part of a plan sponsored by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and approved by Salam.About 100 people demonstrated in Tripoli Monday over reports that a private company was hauling Beirut garbage to the city and dumping it there.
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