Judge orders closure of Costa Brava landfill within 4 months

Residents and activists held a sit-in  last April on the Costa Brava shore at Beirut's southern entrance to protest the  government decision to set up a garbage landfill at the site.
Residents and activists held a sit-in last April on the Costa Brava shore at Beirut’s southern entrance to protest the government decision to set up a garbage landfill at the site.

Judge Hassan Hamdan ordered the permanent closure of the controversial Costa Brava landfill within a maximum period of   four months National News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The  Baabda of  urgent matter judge gave the four months time period in order  to pave the way for concerned municipalities to find an alternative for the dump that receives the trash of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, NNA added

The landfill was supposed to be permanently closed on Tuesday, January 24, pending a final verdict in the case, according to a judge ruling. But the decision was postponed.

Orders to close the landfill, which is located in a resort coastal area along the  Mediterranean sea   and near  the Rafik Hariri International Airport, emerged when concerns rose that the seagulls circling around the site pose a threat to aircraft safety.

Costa Brava was opened last  March last year  ( despite objections by local residents ) as one of three “temporary”landfills  intended to provide an interim solution after the closure of the main Naameh  landfill  receiving waste from Beirut.

The landfills  were eventually intended to have waste processing facilities, but that has never  happened.

As a result, garbage has piled up  reaching nine meters (30 feet) high  in some places right on the  beach of Costa Brava

Environmentalists have for months warned that the landfill  is attracting rodents and increasing numbers of birds.

Last August, the Lebanese pilots’ union warned of the possibility of the birds being sucked into airplane engines.

Transport Minister Youssef Fenianos said the problem would be tackled by installing additional devices emitting high-pitched frequencies and bird of prey calls to scare away the nuisance birds.

A permanent solution for the 4 year old  garbage crisis  has yet to be found, despite protest

The  garbage crisis  issue is one of many outstanding challenges for Lebanon’s new government, which was formed on December 18 after two years of political deadlock.