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Mideast LebanonBeirut stinks, and the city’s residents are not happy about it.

Trash has been piling up in the streets of the Lebanese capital and surrounding areas for several weeks. Last month, the government closed a massive landfill site which had become dangerously overloaded but failed to come up with an alternative destination for the garb.

While the crisis had been brewing for years, it has become an acute symbol of the government’s dysfunction. Outraged citizens have taken to the street protesting the mounting trash — and the government crisis.

Lebanon’s political system is based on power sharing between the diverse nation’s various religious sects, but critics say this has led to a weak government and political cronyism. The country hasn’t had a president in over a year, and parliamentary elections have been repeatedly delayed.

Last weekend, some 20,000 people took to the streets, and dozens were injured when police fired water cannons, released tear gas and beat protesters with batons. “The corruption has been around for so long. But the people have also now smelled it,” Tarek Sarhan, a 17-year-old supporter of the “You Stink” protests, told The Associated Press.

Take a look at the photos below to see just how overwhelming Lebanon’s trash crisis has become.

A firefighter sprays water on a garbage pile that took fire on a street in the Lebanese capital capital Beirut on August 28, 2015. A trash crisis began in Lebanon after the government failed to find a replacement for the country's largest landfill, which closed on July 17, 2015 and left trash piling up in and around Beirut. The crisis evolved into an outlet for broader frustrations, sparking violent protests and calls for the government's resignation. AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID         (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
A firefighter sprays water on a garbage pile that took fire on a street in the Lebanese capital capital Beirut on August 28, 2015. A trash crisis began in Lebanon after the government failed to find a replacement for the country’s largest landfill, which closed on July 17, 2015 and left trash piling up in and around Beirut. The crisis evolved into an outlet for broader frustrations, sparking violent protests and calls for the government’s resignation. AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID
(Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman walks past piles of garbage near the entrance of the Hotel Dieu hospital in the Lebanese capital Beirut on August 27, 2015. A trash crisis began in Lebanon after the government failed to find a replacement for the country's largest landfill, which closed on July 17, 2015 and left trash piling up in and around Beirut. The crisis evolved into an outlet for broader frustrations, sparking violent protests and calls for the government's resignation. AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID        (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman walks past piles of garbage near the entrance of the Hotel Dieu hospital in the Lebanese capital Beirut on August 27, 2015. A trash crisis began in Lebanon after the government failed to find a replacement for the country’s largest landfill, which closed on July 17, 2015 and left trash piling up in and around Beirut. The crisis evolved into an outlet for broader frustrations, sparking violent protests and calls for the government’s resignation. AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
In this August 17, 2015, file photo, a  pile of garbage blocks a street in east Beirut, Lebanon. To the casual visitor, Lebanon may look like a relative success story: a tiny slice of modernity and coexistence in a turbulent region plagued by violence and extremism _ but the reality is quite different. For residents, it’s a failed state  eaten away by a sectarian political class, and while recent trash protests have challenged that system, others argue it’s what’s allowed a country of 4.5 million people from 18 recognized sects to survive. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
In this August 17, 2015, file photo, a pile of garbage blocks a street in east Beirut, Lebanon. To the casual visitor, Lebanon may look like a relative success story: a tiny slice of modernity and coexistence in a turbulent region plagued by violence and extremism _ but the reality is quite different. For residents, it’s a failed state eaten away by a sectarian political class, and while recent trash protests have challenged that system, others argue it’s what’s allowed a country of 4.5 million people from 18 recognized sects to survive. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
 In this Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015 file photo, Lebanese protesters hold up signs against the Lebanese government during a demonstration against the ongoing trash crisis, at the Martyrs square in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. Starting out as a small group of tech-savvy young activists who organized to protest the garbage that for weeks has been piling up on Beirut’s streets, Lebanon's "You Stink" movement has now grown into a popular uprising that seeks to nip at the power base of an entire political class.  Sign at left reads in Arabic 'we're sick of you go away' and at right 'Nothing comes from you but garbage'. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)
In this Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015 file photo, Lebanese protesters hold up signs against the Lebanese government during a demonstration against the ongoing trash crisis, at the Martyrs square in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. Starting out as a small group of tech-savvy young activists who organized to protest the garbage that for weeks has been piling up on Beirut’s streets, Lebanon’s “You Stink” movement has now grown into a popular uprising that seeks to nip at the power base of an entire political class. Sign at left reads in Arabic ‘we’re sick of you go away’ and at right ‘Nothing comes from you but garbage’. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

 

lebanese politicians  are garbage
This is a modified version of a poster held up in a protest in Lebanon shared on Twitter by @Beirutspring. It shows Lebanese politicians across the political spectrum

 

 

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