File - Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb during a news conference in Beirut, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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BEIRUT: The Cabinet Thursday all but abandoned a maligned plan to export its way out of a ruinous trash crisis, returning the country to square one: depending on municipalities to open their landfills to Beirut and Mount Lebanon garbage.The company selected to manage the export scheme, Chinook Urban Mining, has until Friday to produce the necessary permits to transport Lebanon's trash to Russia, ministers agreed, but Information Minister Ramzi Joreige's report on the meeting gave the clear impression that officials have already moved on. The Cabinet abandoned the Chehayeb plan in November after municipalities refused to accommodate the additional burden of landfilling over 3,000 tons of waste, daily, from the capital region.Chehayeb, in charge of the trash file since September, had no comments after the Cabinet session. Sukleen, the waste contractor for Greater Beirut, confirmed Thursday it could stop collecting Beirut trash on Feb. 24, saying its Karantina disposal ground is full.News that Chinook may have fabricated its permits compromised the export scheme earlier this week.
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