Media Channels circulated information, in which it referred to some officials announcing that on Tuesday the 22nd of March 2016, the “Costabrava” and the Borj Hammoud landfills will open to receive the wastes.
Perhaps, many Lebanese people do not differentiate between a “landfill” and a “dump site” and a waste incinerator, and they use that term to point out to the place where the garbage is thrown, and it doesn’t matter if that place was monitored or not, or if it was a chaotic place or one that is engineered according to a series of specifications.
However, one could not imagine that officials who have a long experience regarding following up with the waste sector in Lebanon, and who are surrounded by consultants, and expertise working in these issues since years as well, would get mixed-up in these terms as well.
There won’t be a “landfill” in “costabrava” site, since establishing a landfill requires a series of engineering works which need months of working, and this does not happen in in a day’s time.
A few days ago, bulldozers spread sand in that site, so it became a “landfill” ready to receive wastes, according to officials. This is striking, except if what is required is throwing garbage there and covering it with a layer of sand, without any specific examination for the site, knowing that it is in direct contact with sea water.
The same goes for the Borj Hammoud site, which is a closed random landfill, containing millions of tonnes of various wastes, ranging from non-dangerous municipal wastes, to industrial wastes, and dangerous wates. Upon closing it in 1997, it was just covered with a thin layer of sand, and did not undergo any treatment works at all. Knowing poisonous chemicals are still emitted from it directly to the sea water.
What makes us worried is that the term “landfill” is being used by officials who do not seem to be more precise in the terms they are using, for the random dump sites. They choose these terms just by choosing these places as a landfill establishing site. So, has the government’s political will become enough to replace the required engineering establishments and the management operations required for operating the “landfills”? If that was the current reality, then the country is in a huge distress. In addition, the environment in Lebanon is threatened by pollution, destruction, and degradation, be it nature, or coastal areas.
Is this how you understand sustainable development, which you are talking about immensely in conferences and speeches nowadays? Is the goal hiding the land filling policy and filling the sea with wastes, and after that talking about sustainable development? Lebanon’s and the Lebanese’ misery, resides in your destruction of it, and the “sustainable development’s” screams are all over the place.