People drive past buring piles of garbage in the area of Jal al-Dib in the northern outskirts of the Lebanese capital Beirut Monday. AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID
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Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb convened the first meeting of a special committee of specialists to resolve the trash crisis Tuesday and announced he would consider solutions from civil society. It could take six months for authorities to clear the trash that has accumulated in the country's environment, according to Ziad Abichaker, an environmental engineer invited to meet with Chehayeb Wednesday. And municipalities are still waiting for funds the Cabinet promised them last Thursday to develop their own waste management sectors. Chehayeb's committee is tasked with directing the state's considerable resources and political muscle in support of the work of municipalities.Health Minister Wael Abu Faour encouraged municipalities to transfer the trash to quarries."There is a request of municipalities to secure quarries far from residences, food processing plants, and rivers," said the minister following a meeting with Prime Minister Tammam Salam Tuesday. He warned that the accumulation of trash jeopardizes public health.
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