Saturday, January 30, 2016

Will Lebanese trash go to Russia?

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Looks like our trash is no longer going to Sierra Leone, as rumors said. It’s now going to Russia.

Nabil el-Jisr, head of the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR), told the media that Chinook – the controversial and rather shady company in charge of exporting our waste – has “obtained Russia’s approval to take in Lebanon’s trash”.

Great news? Shall we celebrate? Not so sure.

“The deal does not cover waste older than 45 days, which must be sorted in order to meet international waste trade regulations, The Daily Star reports. Chinook told the CDR that the garbage sent to Russia would be incinerated. As it stands, officials project the trash export scheme to cost the state $200 million, at a price of $212 per ton, over its 18-month-long duration. But the figure does not factor in the cost of treating the older waste, and many in the waste sector have said they expect the true price to be much higher.”

If we forget about the money for a moment – and the big profit some politicians are going to make out of all this – the big question is what’s going to happen to the hundreds of tons of garbage rotting everywhere for the past 7 month?

Some was burned, poisoning our air. Some was randomly buried, poisoning our soil. Some was thrown in forests and valleys, poisoning what's left of Lebanon’s lush and beautiful green spaces. Most of it is just sitting there, spreading all sorts of viruses.

Our trash may be going north, east or west, the country is going south.

Photos from Facebook

ALSO READ: A comprehensive solution for the ongoing garbage crisis in Lebanon

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