Lebanon News

Burj Hammoud municipality closes road to east of Beirut landfill

Road block at the entrance of the Burj Hammoud landfill, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2016. (The Daily Star/ VDL 100.5)

BEIRUT: The Burj Hammoud municipality announced Wednesday that the road leading to the town’s landfill has been closed to trucks, forcing waste management company Sukleen to find alternative temporary storage lots.

Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) said concrete barriers and chains blocked traffic from entering the road to the east of Beirut landfill.

This comes one day after the Tashnag party announced that it and the Burj Hammoud municipality will not be allowing any sorted waste to enter the landfill until construction at the site resumes.

“The steps agreed upon in the Cabinet meeting on March 12, 2016, should go on as discussed with no further delays or hindrances,” the statement read, referring the government’s plan to build a landfill at the site.

The statement came in response to Kataeb Party calls for the Tashnag Party to join the demonstrations. For almost two weeks, Kataeb has been holding regular protests outside the landfill’s entrance, with activists blocking construction workers and trucks from entering the site starting Aug. 13.

Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb and Kataeb leader MP Sami Gemayel have been locked in a war of words over the last few weeks regarding the landfill and its potential effect on the health of residents in the Metn district's coastal region, where Burj Hammoud is located.

Last week, Gemayel called on the Lebanese people to stand by him to end what he said would bring “10 years of environmental damage” to the area.

Sukleen announced in a statement later Wednesday that it will stop transporting trash to Burj Hammoud unless instructed otherwise by the Council of Development and Construction due to its closure.

Gemayel and activist groups have accused Sukleen of corruption, charges the company denies.

 

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