by Naharnet Newsdesk 27 January 2016, 09:49

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said on Wednesday that the decision to export Lebanon’s trash must be reviewed in light of the huge expenses it entails and the new offer submitted by a Thai based company proposing cheaper prices to solve the eight-month long crisis.

“Regardless of the serious new proposal made by New Boxer Group to export the trash at a cheaper cost than that offered by Britain’s Chinook Urban Mining International, the offer will likely be reevaluated in light of the high costs incurred on the state,” Khalil told al-Akhbar daily on Wednesday

On January 15, New Boxer Group submitted to the Lebanese government an offer to export Lebanon’s trash at the cost of $85 dollars per ton instead of the $123 offered by Chinook.

Khalil said that the new company is “offering cheaper prices and a deal worth studying,” but stressed instead the need to “resort to national solutions by establishing landfills and locations to treat the trash instead of exporting it.”

Khalil has in that regard told head of the ministerial committee tasked with solving the trash file Agriculture Minister Akram Shehayyeb in a formal letter informing him of the need to review the offer to export the trash and the expenses it entails, the daily said.

Change and Reform bloc sources following up on the file said the issue will be put for discussion during the next cabinet session to look closely at the new proposal that could save the state about $100 million dollars over the duration of the contract.

Lebanon was plunged in a waste management crisis following the closure of the Naameh landfill in July 2015.

Officials have for months failed to find an alternative to the dump, resulting in the accumulation of trash on the streets throughout the country.

The cabinet in December approved an export plan despite reservations of the Kataeb and Change and Reform blocs.

Two firms that agreed to export Lebanon’s trash, Britain’s Chinook and Holland’s Howa BV, were brought down to one after Howa’s announced withdrawal.