Lebanon News

Activists march against landfill east of Beirut

BEIRUT: Activists opposed to the government's waste management plan joined a protest on Thursday that was initiated by the Kataeb Party outside a landfill construction site east of Beirut.

Around 35 protesters marched from Dora roundabout north of Beirut to the site of the planned Burj Hammoud landfill.

They called for healthy and environmental solutions to the Lebanon's trash crisis.

The Kataeb has been protesting outside the landfill's entrance for almost two weeks, and have managed to bring construction to a standstill.

Last week, the party's chief Sami Gemayel called on the Lebanese people to stand with him to end what he said would bring “10 years of environmental damage” to the area.

Elie, a Burj Hammoud resident, told LBCI that the foul odors from the trash that was being moved to the parking lot nearby the landfill is filling homes and neighborhoods.

"We cannot open a window," he said.

Karnik Asfahani, a spokesman for the residents of Burj Hammoud, told reporters that demands were obvious.

He described Burj Hammoud as a "disaster area."

We Want Accountability group organizer Nehmat Badreddine said earlier Thursday in remarks to Kataeb's Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) that the movement would join the march.

"The problem hasn't been resolved as burying trash without recycling is a crime," Badreddine said, calling on the people to join the rally, which also saw the participation of the Lebanon Eco Movement.

Meanwhile, the Kataeb Party Health Committee held a meeting at the campsite to discuss solutions for the crisis.

Trash is currently being taken to storage lots in Costa Brava, south of Beirut, and to Burj Hammoud, where new landfills are slated to be built.

However, Burj Hammoud municipality decided Wednesday to bar access to a temporary garbage storage lot near the landfill until work resumes at the site, fearing that a mountain of garbage would be created in the area.

Sukleen, the waste contractor for Greater Beirut, announced that it will not collect waste in the areas that use the Burj Hammoud lot because its trucks have been prevented from entering the site.

The Tashnag party had agreed with the Burj Hammoud municipality not to allow any sorted waste to enter the venue until construction at the site resumed.

 

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