Civil society activists on Sunday staged what they dubbed a “March Against Disease” to raise the alarm over the health and environmental hazards that the trash disposal crisis poses with the coming of the rain season.

Protesters marched from Sed el-Bauchrieh, where a huge “mountain of garbage” has formed, towards the site containing piles of trash on the banks of the Beirut River outside the capital.

The Jdeideh-Bauchrieh municipal chief and members of the municipal council took part in the demo to denounce the piling up of garbage and to voice solidarity with the activists’ demands.

Demonstrators carried banners slamming the ruling class and demanding the release of funds that can enable municipalities to play a waste management role, amid strict security measures by the army and the Internal Security Forces.

A protest organizer said Sed el-Bauchrieh was chosen as the march’s starting point due to “the rivers of trash that were created by the rain last week.”

Activists meanwhile distributed leaflets encouraging residents to start waste sorting at home.

“What have they done since 100 days until now other than arresting the youths who demanded a proper solution to the garbage crisis?” protesters asked in a statement recited at the end of the march, accusing the government of resorting to what they described as “sectarian landfills.”

Meanwhile, Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan announced after a meeting with the dignitaries of the town of Choueifat that no decision has been reached on the issue of setting up a garbage landfill in the Costa Brava area on the town’s coast.

“Several solutions were discussed and we have called for a meeting on Tuesday afternoon to take a final decision,” he said.

“We hope to reach a happy ending that respects the citizen’s rights, health and environment,” the lawmaker added.

Arslan noted that citizens do not trust the state “because it has never honored its promises.”

“Do not expect Talal Arslan to whitewash the state,” the MP added, addressing Prime Minister Tammam Salam.

Earlier on the day, Arslan had announced that no garbage landfill could be set up in the Choueifat area without his “approval.”

“PM Salam told me that no landfill will be set up in Choueifat without my approval,” he was quoted as saying by LBCI television and al-Jadeed TV.

“No cabinet session has been scheduled until the moment,” Arslan added.

Ministerial sources had told al-Mustaqbal daily in remarks published Sunday that Speaker Nabih Berri and Hizbullah had vowed to Salam that they would mediate with Arslan to substitute the proposed Kfour landfill in the South with one in the area of Costa Brava in Khaldeh.

Salam is expected to call for a cabinet session in light of the outcome of talks with Arslan to decide on the waste file.

Lebanon has been suffering from a trash disposal crisis since July with the closure of the Naameh landfill.

Politicians have failed to find an alternative to the landfill, resulting in the pile up of garbage on the streets of the country.

There are fears the uncollected waste, coupled with the rain season, could spread diseases such as cholera among the population.

Experts have urged Lebanon to focus on recycling more waste, and composting organic material, saying that would vastly reduce the amount of trash going to landfills.