On July 17, 2015, the Naameh landfill was finally shut down, 15 years after its initial closing date. The Government of Lebanon had no contingency prepared to deal with waste management, and trash quickly began to overflow from the streets and riverbanks of Beirut and Mount Lebanon in what can now be considered Lebanon’s worst trash crisis in history.
On September 9, 2015 Lebanon’s government agreed on a plan to resolve the trash crisis, hoping to end a dispute that has caused piles of rubbish to fester on Beirut’s streets and has set off a huge wave of protests. The plan, approved during an emergency cabinet meeting, gives municipalities a leading role in treating local waste.
The plan considers that any solution must incorporate the 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), and include organic composting as well as dumping in sanitary landfills. Moreover, solutions should present a balance of environmentally beneficial, feasible, cost-effective, and socially sensitive practices that work together to reach the desired goal. Hence, a “one size fits all” solution to waste management is unlikely to function efficiently at all levels of government.
A guide was developed by Arcenciel in an emergency context, in a period of crisis related to solid waste management in Lebanon. This tool is primarily intended for municipalities, mainly concerned with waste management, to give them management tools to face the crisis. It gives an idea about the various components and procedures of waste management, as well as standards, ratios, and costs affiliated with each step.
This guide is based on the national solid waste management strategy elaborated by arcenciel and under which several pilot projects have already been undertaken, of which the TER-OM project (Sorting and
Recycling in the Organizations and Municipalities) undertaken by arcenciel in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD).
The waste incineration in Lebanon a big threat:
Over 50% of wastes in Lebanon are organic, with a low calorific value. If incinerated it will consume lots of energy
80% of waste can currently be recovered without incineration
Incinerators emit hazardous & toxic emissions (NO, NO2, SO2, HCl, dioxins…)
Incineration generates hazardous residues to be buried in special landfills that do not exist in Lebanon
Even countries with efficient and well controlled incinerators like Austria, tax severely discourages the incineration method, thus encouraging recycling.
The adoption of incineration would result in the extinction of the recycling sector in Lebanon which constitutes a “green” sector important to the economy and create jobs opportunities.
The waste management practical guide suggested by arcenciel NGO.
You can check it in English, French and Arabic.