Agriculture Minister Akram Shehayyeb stated on Monday that the garbage crisis cannot tolerate any more delay, stressing that preparations to gear up the Srar landfill to meet scientific standards and reopen the Naameh landfill continue.

“The trash crisis does no tolerate political luxury. Everyone must know that if we failed to solve the garbage crisis then nothing else will be solved in the country,” Shehayyeb told An Nahar daily.

“Preparing the Srar dumpster in Akkar to become a landfill that meets the scientific standards continue and at the same time to reopen the Naameh for seven days only,” he added, assuring that efforts are ongoing to address the civil society’s refusal to establish one in the eastern al-Masnaa area.

He concluded by saying: “We will not back down on the suggested plan which met the scientific requirements,” expressing regret that some civil society members and local residents did not approve it.

The minister’s proposal calls for the reopening of the Naameh landfill whose closure on July 17 sparked the country’s unprecedented garbage crisis.

It also envisions converting two existing dumps, in Srar and al-Masnaa, into “sanitary landfills” capable of receiving trash for more than a year.

After he announced his plan earlier this month, the civil society and local residents of Akkar, Naameh, Majdal Anjar, and Bourj Hammoud protested against the step.

Experts have urged the government to devise a comprehensive waste management solution that would include more recycling and composting to reduce the amount of trash going into landfills.

Environmentalists fear the crisis could soon degenerate to the point where garbage as well as sewage will simply overflow into the sea from riverbeds as winter rains return.