BEIRUT: The Naameh waste dump will be shut by April 2015 and its garbage transformed into energy to provide power to nearby areas, Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk said Friday.

“The Naameh landfill was supposed to be closed on Jan. 17 [2015], but we will give it a few more weeks if needed,” Machnouk said in a news conference.

“We consider April as the last deadline to finalize it.” 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.

Machnouk saluted Naameh residents for their long years of patience and cooperation, and promised they would start receiving electricity produced at the site starting next week.

“In five days, we will start witnessing how the Naahmeh landfill will start producing electricity for the nearby areas,” he said, explaining that the site was expected to produce electricity for up to 15 years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on November 01, 2014, on page 3.

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