May 10, 2011 01:14 AM (Last updated: May 10, 2011 01:14 AM)
By Mohammed Zaatari
The Daily Star

SIDON: The Interior Ministry will take over supervision of the collection and treatment of Sidon and nearby towns’ waste, after most regions in the Union of Sidon and Zahrani Municipalities agreed to allocate 40 percent of their share of money with the Independent Municipal Fund to the Interior Ministry.

The garbage crisis intensified in Sidon and its surrounding areas after the city’s dump exceeded its capacity a few months ago, after which concerned parties failed to reach an agreement to start operations at a solid waste treatment plant in Sinniq.
Sidon Mayor Mohammad Saudi said Monday that the union’s municipal heads agreed to grant the Interior Ministry 40 percent of their revenues, in an agreement similar to those between by Beirut and Mount Lebanon municipalities and the ministry.

The agreement will be submitted to the Interior Ministry for approval, Saudi said during a news conference organized by the Future Movement, entitled “Sidon’s environmental issues.”

Sidon’s surrounding municipalities had earlier refused to allocate any of their revenues to waste collection and treatment, and still have not reached an agreement with the firm IBC, which owns the Sinniq plant, over the price of processing one ton of waste. The agreement is a prerequisite to start operations at the facility.

Saudi said that in 2003, the Union of Sidon and Zahrani Municipalities agreed with the owners of the Sinniq plant to a price ranging between $28 and $44 per ton of waste processed.

Saudi added that the plant now has a one-month deadline to begin operations, and the owners’ continuing insistence to raise the prices would force municipalities to revoke the contract.

The plant owners argue that the establishment of the plant exceeded the initial projected cost of $20 million, reaching $40 million.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 10, 2011, on page 3.
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::