Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq refused on Monday to participate in the meetings of the ministerial committee tasked with studying the waste management crisis.

Al-Mashnouq asked Prime Minister Tammam Salam to appoint another minister in his place.

An Nahar daily said Monday that the committee has expanded to include 11 ministers from all political parties. But al-Mashnouq’s pullout reduced the number to 10.

The committee is awaiting a report from Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq on the municipalities willing to host landfills.

Later on Monday, Salam appointed Agriculture Minister Akram Shehayyeb to a panel tasked with finding a solution to the trash disposal crisis.

The environment minister’s announcement came after he claimed that he is the only official trying to resolve the garbage crisis that erupted following last month’s closure of the Naameh landfill, which lies south of Beirut.

Pressure grew on the government on Saturday after demonstrators gave political leaders a deadline to meet their demands.

“You Stink,” the main organizer of the mass rally in downtown Beirut, threatened to escalate its protest movement if the government does not meet the demands by Tuesday evening.

The ultimatum calls for a sustainable solution to the trash crisis, the resignation of al-Mashnouq and new elections to replace a parliament in power since 2009.

Despite his announcement on Monday, al-Mashnouq stopped short of resigning.

In remarks to As Safir newspaper, he said: “I am the only official who is trying to do something to resolve the garbage crisis.”

“Most of the political parties are running away from their responsibilities,” he said.