Jumblatt calls for closure of Naameh dump – Daily Star
Siniora lauds Sidon rehabilitation projects – Daily Star
Minister proposes opening new waste-management bid – Daily Star

Jumblatt calls for closure of Naameh dump – Daily Star

BEIRUT: The waste dump in Naameh presents a public health danger and must be shut immediately, Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt said Monday.

“It is time for the Lebanese state to make a clear decision to close the Naameh landfill,” Jumblatt wrote in his weekly column for Al-Anbaa newspaper. “It has become a horrible reality for public health and the environment, and a painful one for the residents of nearby villages.”

Originally opened in 1997 with a plan to use it for only six years, the landfill remains open after 17 years, and has exceeded its original capacity five-fold, frustrating the residents of the area with its odors and gas emissions.

“It is illogical to place the all the burden on one region,” Jumblatt said, suggesting that each region take care of its own waste.

The Naameh dump receives up to 3,000 tons of garbage per day from Beirut and Mount Lebanon, according to studies.

Jumblatt suggested that personal interests were behind the government’s delays in addressing the issue.

Is the failure of the government to reach a solution “related to some personal interests or deals?,” Jumblatt asked. “Or is due to other unknown reasons?”

He also said he would reveal some scandalous details about secret deals between parties involved in the landfill should the government fail to act soon.

Jumblatt acknowledged that it was unlikely the landfill would be closed by a scheduled deadline of Jan. 17, 2015, adding that he would only accept the extension of this deadline if an alternative plan is announced.

The PSP chief proposed the construction of environmentally sound waste treatment facilities, or to spread the garbage dumped in Naameh over other areas such as Karantina. The Sidon experience, in which a landfill was closed and a new project is being built on top of buried waste, should be a good example for possible solutions in Naameh, he added.

Naameh residents earlier this year staged several protests, preventing garbage trucks from entering the landfill, and demanding its permanent closure.

Their protest prompted Sukleen, the country’s waste management company, to stop collecting garbage in Beirut and Mount Lebanon for several days, causing huge piles of trash to build up on the streets.

The January protest ended after the police intervened to reopen the landfill.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 21, 2014, on page 4

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Siniora lauds Sidon rehabilitation projects – Daily Star

Mohammad Zaatari| The Daily Star

SIDON, Lebanon: Head of the Future bloc in Parliament Fouad Siniora toured environmental rehabilitation projects, including a waste dump that is being turned into a park, in his southern hometown of Sidon Friday, expressing satisfaction with the progress.

“I am very happy to see all the progress taking place in all those projects,” Siniora told reporters in reference to the construction of a new commercial port, the transformation of the old garbage dump into a park, the development of a solid waste recycling center, and the restoration of Sidon’s Sea citadel.

There is also a plan to create a museum for the heritages of Sidon in the area of al-Frir.

Siniora was accompanied in his tour by Minister of State for Administrative Development Nabil de Freij, MP Ghazi Youssef and Sidon’s Mayor Mohammad al-Saudi.

“The garbage dump was a nightmare to all the people of Sidon,” Siniora said. “It was polluting the entire Lebanese coast, reaching the Syrian coast too, and beyond.”

He said the transformation serves as a model that should be adopted in other areas of the country.

Siniora also spoke on the importance of spreading the culture of recycling as a means to protect the environment.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Oct-17/274480-siniora-lauds-sidon-rehabilitation-projects.ashx#ixzz3GoFQQqus
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Minister proposes opening new waste-management bid – Daily Star

BEIRUT: The Cabinet is expected to discuss solutions to the controversial issue of waste disposal and treatment soon, as Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk said he would soon submit a proposal that excluded the renewal of Sukleen’s contract.

Machnouk was quoted Friday by Al-Liwaa that he would be ready to present his proposal at the Cabinet meeting next week.

“The proposal does not include the renewal of Sukleen’s contract, but the launching of a bidding process according to regulations,” Machnouk was quoted as saying.

Sukleen has handled garbage collection in Beirut and some 225 towns and villages in Mount Lebanon since 1995 under a renewable five-year contract signed with the mother company, Averda. Two contracts were also signed with Averda in 1998 for composting and landfilling by Sukomi.

Despite the fact that Sukleen and Sukomi are paid with public funds, the terms of the contract between their owner and the government remain secret.

In 2010, March 8 ministers voted against renewing the Averda contract unless the terms of the company’s agreement with the government were disclosed to the Cabinet.

Yet despite claims that other companies could do the job for half the price and should be allowed to enter a bidding process, Averda’s contract was renewed. Saad Hariri, who was prime minister at the time, argued it was too late to look for alternatives, as Sukleen’s contract had already expired.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Oct-17/274412-minister-proposes-opening-new-waste-management-bid.ashx#ixzz3GoFn7ZEP
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