It is a recurring problem in Lebanon: it has been years since the country has been unable to find a lasting solution for its household waste, even though it spends more money than Tunisia or Jordan on it. Its public dumps are saturated, there are illegal dumps everywhere and even ultra toxic open-air incineration. It is a disaster for the environment, for public health and this situation has been denounced many times by local associations and international organizations.
This “waste crisis”, as they say here, is also one more symbol of a failed and corrupt Lebanese state. For the capital, Beirut, there are two coastal dumps, on the shores of the Mediterranean, not to say in the Mediterranean, because they are in fact on land taken from the sea: we make a dike, we bury, we backfill and pack well.
For several years, these two landfills have saturated and each time, the emergency solution found is quite simply to enlarge them. This is also what has just been decided for the Burj Hammoud Jdeidé landfill, north of the capital: 40,000 square meters more, to the chagrin of environmental defenders. They denounce these false solutions, which also go against the conventions and commitments made by Lebanon against pollution in the Mediterranean.
If these voices are heard, they are not heard. In the immediate term, it must be admitted, there is no alternative, anyway, unless you see the trash cans piling up in the streets in the coming days. Two years ago, it was decided to build incinerators, with the help of the international community, but all that has been put on hold, due to the lack of a government for six months.
As for sorting and recycling, which would considerably reduce the volume of waste to be buried, they are absolutely not practiced, not encouraged by the State. It does nothing to help recycling industries either. The only initiatives that exist are carried by a few municipalities, goodwill and associations. Unfortunately, there is little chance that that will change in the near future, because environmental protection was not a priority for Lebanon and the Lebanese, it is even less so today, with the economic crises. , health and politics that hit the country for a year.