Minister of Environment Fadi Jreissati has lately announced that he finally found a solution to the 4-month-old garbage crisis in the four northern districts of Lebanon: Minyeh-Dinnieh, Zgharta, Bsharri, and Koura. That crisis started in April after the closure of a dumpsite that local municipalities had been using for up to 17 years.
The Minister introduced the new solution during a press conference held in the office of the Governor of the North, Judge Ramzi Nahra, in the presence of MP Michel Moawad, head of the Independence Movement, and the heads of the municipal unions of Minyeh-Dinnieh, Zgharta, Bsharri, and Koura, as well as the mayors of these districts.
"Today is a historic day on several levels," said Minister Jreissati. "First, because we have reached a solution that allows us to announce the beginning of solving the garbage crisis in the four districts affected for more than three months [...] and, second, the cooperation between districts and municipal unions so that they can find one common solution."
Speaking about the solution, minister Jresissati said that the garbage would be removed from the streets and stored in a specific parking lot far from homes. "The area we have chosen has no houses nearby, and the Ministry of Environment has examined it," he said.
He also stated that he will start looking for a healthy landfill, promising to find a final and sustainable solution for the country’s waste as soon the cabinet meets to approve the construction of waste sorting, recycling, and composting plan. That plan was submitted by Minister Jreissati to the prime minister's office in early June.
Minister Jreissati concluded by wishing well to the North and apologizing to the Lebanese who paid a price for what happened. "Everyone bears responsibility, and I, as environment minister, of course, bear part of that responsibility," he said.