The solid waste crisis in Lebanon got an international media coverage and still no policy has been issued to reduce waste from source. Over the two past years, the solid waste crisis went uncontrolled and still no concrete solution adopted.
On December 1, 2017, Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s released a report and video criticizing the waste crisis’ health impacts. It mainly concentrated on the effects of burning waste in open dumpsites which occurs in some Lebanese villages and which was a public act during the waste crisis.
Waste Management Coalition launched after two weeks of the report on December 14, 2017.It is an initiative by civil society to put a pressure on policy makers that are responsible management of solid waste in Lebanon to have an integrated solid waste management.
The current temporary (emergency plan) solution adopted by the Lebanese government on March 2016 a did not try to increase the recycling capacity or have the sorting from source idea. There was no holistic approach to the crisis. All what they did is finding other dumping sites in Costa Brava, a coastal area, and in Bourj Hammoud. Currently, the authorities are still debating their decision of expanding the two coastal landfills that were part of emergency plan to end the solid waste crisis in the country.
And unfortunately, some people in power are pushing for incineration which is hazardous to health and affect air pollution.
The coalition won’t be only a pressuring group. They will work to provide adequate solutions through the different working groups under the coalition: communication, marketing, legal, on ground activism, and policy influencing and funding work group
The groups participating in the coalition are several civil society groups and NGOs: Beirut Madinati, Greenpeace, Green Area, Cedar Environmental, Recycle Lebanon, AUB Nature Conservation Center, TERRE Liban, Sohet Wladna Khatt Ahmar (Our Kids’ Health is a Red Line), Muntada Insan, and Badna Nhaseb ( We want Accountability).To find more, kindly check https://www.wmclebanon.org
The people in charge of solid waste management in Lebanon are assuring the public that there won’t be another trash crisis and that civil society should not to alarm them. Activists do believe that this emergency plan has a close end and if there was no holistic approach and sustainable strategy to solve the problem, the Lebanese citizens will pay the price from their health. The solutions proposed are not environmentally sound and we can save our nature and ourselves if we just start by sorting from source, recycling composting and other simple things implemented by various countries months ago. There should be long term sustainable waste management solution that respects citizen’s right to healthy life and a safe environment.