Sukleen truck arrives to collect garbage in Ras Nabaa late on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Kataeb chief Sami Gemayel Wednesday accused the company managing Beirut and Mount Lebanon's waste of stealing public money and blackmailing the country to renew its own contract.The newly elected party leader said Sukleen was using the recent garbage crisis as a way to enforce another extension of its 20 contracts, accusing it of being part of a "mafia". The Kataeb leader added that the company used this tactic every time the country was about to issue a call for tenders, which resulted in an 18-year-gap before the state issued its latest call this year.Accusing Sukleen of stealing public funds, Gemayel said the price that the government currently pays the company for every ton of garbage collected -- $140 -- was the double of the maximum accepted by any other country. In addition to that, he said, the company illegitimately adds to its profits through the money it makes selling recyclable waste. Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk has announced previously that no companies applied to the call for tenders to manage Beirut's waste.
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