Lebanon may export its garbage to Germany


stinking garbage , beirutThe Lebanese ministerial committee charged  with finding a solution for the  waste management crisis in Beirut and Mount Lebanon has failed so far to find an  acceptable alternative for the Naameh landfill that was closed on July 17 and is contemplating exporting the garbage to Germany,   Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported on Saturday.

Sources  close to Prime Minister Tammam Salam told al-Joumhouria daily: “the three options that were put forward were thwarted. Landfilling the waste in Naameh, Bourj Hammud or Sibline were turned down. Similarly they  rejected  stone crushing sites that lie at an altitude above 1,000 meters because that would contaminate the groundwater.

“Efforts to create waste incinerators is time consuming because it needs no less than three month to build while the crisis needs an urgent   solution.” The sources said

 In the absence of credible  solutions, citizens and some municipalities are either burning or throwing the trash in forests threatening an explosion of a major environmental crisis, the daily added.

Meanwhile Lebanon awaits international offer that allows it to export the waste abroad in light of a German offer that welcomed the idea.

Reports have said that Germany has welcomed the idea of exporting and that a meeting between Economy Minister Alain Hakim and the German ambassador could be promising.

After talks with German ambassador on Friday Hakim said that the Ambassador welcomed the idea and that they agreed on preparing a study to put the solution on track.

Germany has welcomed the idea expecting each ton of exported trash to cost Beirut. between $70 and $100.

Later during the day, Hakim held a meeting with Salam and discussions focused on the possibility of exporting trash to a European country like Germany or Sweden.

They also discussed the offers put forward by relevant companies in that regard.

The collection restarted early this week after a temporary deal was found to begin taking trash to several landfills in undisclosed locations.

But the deal led to protests in several areas, where residents refused to accept the waste of Beirut and Mount Lebanon.

Protesters have blocked roads in Jiyeh to stop trucks from transporting garbage to Iqlim al-Kharroub and in Dahr al-Baydar, where the residents of Ain Dara have warned against dumping waste in the area’s old stone crushing plants.