LEBANON: MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT JREISSATI PRESENTS THE 2019-2030 ROAD MAP FOR THE INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT OF SOLID WASTE.
Lebanese Minister of the Environment Jreissati presented the 2019-2030 road map for the integrated management of solid waste. The road map calls for the introduction of solid waste sorting into Lebanon, with the involvement of the two leading companies in the sector (Ramco and Citigroup), and the start up of a pilot project in 20 Municipalities in the central Mount Lebanon region. A campaign was also launched against the use of plastic bags in supermarkets, with the free distribution of 100,000 nylon bags in the main food distribution chains in the country.
In the short-term, the plan aims to close the 1,000+ illegal dumps spread throughout the country, create 25 sanitary landfills with the locations to be decided by 1 November, and build a new incinerator. The goal is to make sending waste to landfills the residual option (30% compared to the current figure of 94%), and encourage the building of composting, recycling and waste to energy plants.
The programme plans to build three new central waste to energy plants in Beirut, Deir Ammar and Zahrani. The Deir Ammar and Zahrani locations are the same as those earmarked by the Ministry of Energy for the new combined cycle power plants to reduce the costs of connecting to the power supply. The Minister said that the three new plants could process up to 50% of the solid waste currently produced in the country, providing the energy needed to power the local cement industry.
Another key element in the programme is to launch a call for tenders for the management, maintenance and upgrading of the 50 recycling plants that already exist since they are working at sub-optimal capacity due to a lack of investment in recent years. A law will also be introduced dealing with the treatment of hazardous medical and industrial waste, and this sector will be opened up to outside investment.
In order to guarantee sustainability of the system, the plan provides for adoption of a ‘cost recovery law’ aimed at decentralising solid waste management by introducing a municipal tax to go directly to local finances.